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Former Arsenal wonderkid Ozyakup secures big step in his future

Former Arsenal youngster Oguzhan Özyakup has secured a new long-term contract with Besiktas.

It's almost three years ago since Arsenal were mauled 8-2 by Manchester United, and the Gunners team takes on a very different look nowadays.

For a look at Arsenal's problems that day, a look at their limited options on the bench tells it's own story; Gilles Sunu, Ignasi Miquel, Marouane Chamakh, Henri Lansbury, and Oguzhan Ozyakup.

Ozyakup was the least heralded of all the youngsters, a Turkish teenager who had been plucked from AZ Alkmaar's youth team in 2008.

He only ever made two appearances for the Gunners, but in that limited time he did register an assist, setting up a Yossi Benayoun goal in the League Cup.

His raw potential saw Besiktas move to sign him two summers ago, paying just £440,000 to do so.

Ozyakup has since become a first team regular, and last season made 29 appearances from attacking midfield, scoring seven times and registering four assists.

Still only 21, he is a full Turkish international with seven caps to his name, the most recent in a 2-1 loss to USA earlier this month.

At the end of last week however he secured a major step in his future, rewarded with a new long-term contract at Besiktas. 

It was confirmed that he has signed a deal, extending his previous one which expired in 2016 to 2018, and he is thrilled about it.

He is however open to moving on to a bigger club later on in his career:

Ozyakup is quoted by Voetball International: "At this stage of my career, it is good to stay at Besiktas The club plays qualifying round in the Champions League, and I can learn a lot. I'm only 21, for a step-up, I have all the time.

"The second half of the season I played for Besiktas mostly as number 10 instead of Manuel Fernandes. Before that, I was usually one of the two controlling midfielders. My number of goals and assists has greatly increased since then."

It's a very sensible decision to stay put and establish himself further, although he will face competition in the national side with emerging Hamburg sensation Hakan Calhanoglu.

If Ozaykup can continue to build on the progress of his first two seasons in Turkey, it would not be a surprise to see a major club in Spain, Germany, Italy or England come calling for his signature in years to come.

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