Arsenal might have found Santi Cazorla’s replacement: Why Wenger should ensure they sign him

Transfer story

Oğuzhan Özyakup, nicknamed Ozzie, has been playing his football for Besiktas since joining the Turkish club from Arsenal in 2012. He joined from Arsenal for around 500,000 Euros. The 24-year-old is at the centre of much transfer speculation following an excellent season in which he helped Besiktas secure the Turkish Super League title.

Özyakup, a former Arsenal trainee, has been linked with a return to the Emirates this summer but the Gunners face stiff competition for his signature. Roma are in contact with Besiktas over a 13 million pound deal. The Gunners have their work cut-out as they approach a summer trying to buy players without guaranteeing them Champions eLague football.

Since leaving Arsenal in 2012, the Turkman has established himself in the Besiktas setup, winning numerous honours on the way. Now, he is one of the most promising midfielders in Europe.

Besiktas president Fikret Orman had a few things to say regarding the transfer rumours back in may:

“We will sell players if we receive the right offers,” Orman was quoted as saying by Turkish-Football. “We have not received the right offer yet for Oğuzhan and, as I have said before, he will only join a club of the highest level. I would not, for example, sell him to Leicester City.”

“I want him to play at the highest level.”

Player stats

Ozzie has some great stats, from a total of 40 games in all competitions this past season, he has a total of 5 goals and 10 assists. He has a pass percentage of 85 and averages 1.5 key passes and 2.7 long balls per game respectively.

He is also a good dribbler and a goal threat from midfield. (Via Whoscored)

What’ll he offer Arsenal?

The former academy starlet is the perfect successor to Santi Cazorla, with the Spaniard spending most of his time on the injury table. He is also very young, knows the Arsenal philosophy and can link play well with his short passing game.

Apart from his great passing and through balls, he has an eye for goal. His return of goals is a spectacular number for a midfielder. He can also play in the “Makelele position”, and can offer that countering ability from the deeper position.

Özyakup was once called an “Intelligent” player and was also compared to Zinedine Zidane by former Turkey International Ridvan Dilmen. Slaven Bilic was also full of praise for the Turk, comparing him to Mesut Ozil.

A bargain at 13m pounds?

If Arsenal were to land their academy graduate for a measly 13m pounds, then it could well be the shrewdest business this season. He is a rising star and you wouldn’t bet against him to come good in the near future.

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