Erkut Sogut claims Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha is the African star he wished he managed during his active football career.
Regarded as one of Nigeria’s most naturally gifted footballers, the ex-PSG midfield maestro mesmerised the world with his blistering skills and deft touches.
However, it was Okocha’s exploits at Eintracht Frankfurt that captivated the heart of Sogut – who played the beautiful game in the early stages of his life.
Now an accomplished lawyer come football agent, when as about the African star past or present he wished he was involved in his career, Mesut Ozil’s intermediary did not think about it twice.
“Definitely ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha,” Sogut told Goal. “When I was playing football in the youth academy of Hannover and he was playing in Frankfurt, he has this special skill and everyone wants to be like him.
“You know why? He was different, he was creative, he wasn’t a robot like most of the football players.
“He was doing things in a different way and that made him so unique. That is why kids in Germany love him and still love him.”
Despite his association with ex-Germany star and Arsenal playmaker Ozil, Sogut reveals he has several African footballers under his agency while highlighting the qualities he looks out for in would-be clients.
“I have African players in Europe which I represent actually – younger ones. For example, Charles Herrmann the son of [Charles] Akonnor in Ghana is my client in Germany and he is a fantastic player," he added.
“It doesn’t matter where the player is coming from, what his heritage is or his colour. For me, I look at his football and he must possess a good character.
“I choose players who are humble, with good education and looks to give back – those are the kind of players I want to work with.
“I never have a lot of players I represent because I don’t believe I can give them all the same in terms of time and work, so I keep them low so that I can give them a very good service.”