Arsenal could be set to launch a surprise move for former prospect Oguzhan Ozyakup of Besiktas with a £10m bid, according to Talksport. The Turkish international swapped North London for Istanbul in 2012.
According to the report, Ozyakup, 25, could be in line for a return to the Premier League as a potential replacement for Mesut Ӧzil, should the German playmaker depart the Emirates next summer as expected.
In terms of playing style, the Besiktas midfield schemer seemingly fits the bill as potential successor to Arsenal’s chief creative force.
His capacity to instigate attacks and a renowned dribbling ability, compared by some to that of Zinedine Zidane, in many ways make Ozyakup the ideal candidate to step in and fill the void which Ӧzil, 29, would leave.
With the increasingly uncertain futures of star duo Ozil and Alexis Sanchez looming large over the Emirates, a host of potential replacements for the pair have been suggested in recent months.
Thomas Lemar, the subject of a failed deadline day bid in the summer, has been the primary name mentioned. The general perception seems to be that Arsene Wenger will make a renewed attempt to lure the Monaco winger to the Emirates in the coming transfer windows, be that in January or next summer.
Further to Lemar, Nabil Fekir of Lyon, PSG’s long-time Gunners target Julian Draxler, Napoli star Dries Mertens and Ozyakup’s fellow Turkish star, Arda Turan of Barcelona, have also been suggested as potential replacements for Arsenal’s superstar contract rebels.
Whilst that list boasts more illustrious and arguably higher pedigree names than that of Ozyakup, particularly when considered as potential replacements for the club’s premier duo, the former Gunners youth player should not be dismissed.
The £92m fee widely reported to be required in any attempt to prize Lemar from Monaco has been the subject of much debate, and the high-profile status of the likes of Fekir and Draxler would likely see them too command highly inflated price tags on the market.
Ozyakup, a player who has already been educated in the Gunners’ ranks, would arguably represent greater value. The £10m quoted by Talksport seems highly reasonable, and would even fall into the realms of a bargain in today’s transfer climate.
At 25, Ozyakup is entering the prime of his career. He has scored 27 goals and contributed 43 assists to date during his five-year spell with Besiktas, per Talksport. The Turk has surely warranted another chance at one of Europe’s biggest clubs, and perhaps in North London where his youthful promise once shined.