Forget It Wenger – Why Re-Signing This 25-year Old Turkish Midfielder Would Be A Huge Blunder For Arsenal

Oguzhan Ozyakup

Arsenal Should Forget About Re-signing Ozyakup And Here’s Why

Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup is in the midst of yet another terrific season for the reigning Super Lig champions, and his prolific performances have reportedly attracted the attention of his former club Arsenal.

Ozyakup has under 12 months remaining on his contract but Besiktas are desperate to strike a new deal. However, the player’s intentions could be swayed if Arsene Wenger makes an approach since Ozyakup could be keen on making a return to his boyhood club.

Ozyakup came through Arsenal’s youth system after signing as a schoolboy but failed to break into Arsene Wenger’s first-team back then. He moved to Besiktas and has been with the club ever since. With the future of Mesut Ozil looking extremely dicey, Arsenal could be looking at a move to bring the midfielder back to the Emirates. However, is that a good idea?

The Turk has flourished at Besiktas, scoring 27 times and providing 44 assists in 195 appearances. Ozyakup has also been captaining Besiktas in Europe and has taken on the armband in most of their league games as well. The playmaker has also won two Turkish Super Lig titles with the Istanbul-based club and boasts an impressive record for goals and assists across all competitions.

During his time with the Gunners, he was twice crowned a champion of the English reserves league and also lifted the FA Youth Cup in 2009 as part of a squad that also featured a young Jack Wilshere. However, something did not click and he failed to break into Wenger’s first-team at that time.

When he arrived at Besiktas, the club were left with a number of issues following the departure of Slaven Bilic to West Ham. The biggest problem they faced was coping with the injuries to key central midfielders Tolgay Arslan and Veli Kavlak. That was when new manager Senol Gunes decided to use Ozyakup as his main man in the middle and the former Arsenal man has not disappointed since then.

In fact, Ozyakup has done something Wenger has failed to for the past decade – win a league title. He is playing a key role in a side that has entered a golden era, and leaving the club now to build a reputation from the scratch cannot be a good idea. The Turkish international could very well win a third league title and reach the next round of the Champions League, and it makes no sense for him to let go of all that and join the Gunners.

It’s not just a question of winning trophies; it is also a matter of the player’s personal development. Granted, Mesut Ozil could leave Arsenal, which would open up chances for Ozyakup but it will be a lot tougher to re-establish himself at the Emirates stadium. Moreover, Arsenal already have the likes of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny and they cannot afford to have another midfielder who might or might not do well.

Ozyakup has found his level in Turkey and should stay there to be successful while Arsenal should look elsewhere for possible reinforcements.

Written by Meghna Sengupta

Editor @ Soccersouls. Lives in Chennai, and a Manchester United fan.
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