Arsenal Reportedly Awaiting Response from Besiktas Midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2018

Besiktas' Turkish midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup (R) plays the ball during the UEFA Champions League group G football match RB Leipzig vs Besiktas in Leipzig, eastern Germany, on December 6, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ROBERT MICHAEL        (Photo credit should read ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBERT MICHAEL/Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly looking to re-sign former player Oguzhan Ozyakup and are awaiting his response to a contract offer, with his Besiktas deal set to expire at the end of the season. 

According to Aksam (h/t Milliyet, via the Mirror), the Gunners are eager to bring the Turkish midfielder back to the Emirates Stadium on a free transfer in the summer having sold him to Besiktas for €500,000 in 2012.

Ozyakup came through Arsenal's youth system after moving to the north London outfit from AZ Alkmaar in 2008.

He only ever made senior appearances for Arsenal in the League Cup, but he has been a stalwart at Besiktas in recent seasons and has won two Turkish league titles with the club.

At only 25 years old, Ozyakup also still has room for improvement, and he is already a regular in the Turkey national side.

An enterprising and influential central midfielder, Ozyakup can provide both creativity and solidity in the middle of the park.

SWANSEA, WALES - JANUARY 30:  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reacts before  the Premier League match between Swansea City and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on January 30, 2018 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

He has spent much of the 2017-18 campaign playing in a deep-lying role in Besiktas' 4-2-3-1 system.

He can thrive in a more defensive role as his positioning is excellent, and he also boasts the craft and vision to begin attacks from deep.

However, Ozyakup can also operate in a more advanced No. 10 role, as he is comfortable on the ball and creatively adept.

Given Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has both Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his squad, it is unlikely he is pursuing Ozyakup to play in the No. 10 role.

The Gunners are short on options slightly deeper, though, and have long missed the influence of the injured Santi Cazorla in the engine room.

Wenger is likely hopeful Ozyakup can act as a long-term replacement for the Spaniard in the middle of the park

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