Arsene Wenger explains why he let Oguzhan Ozyakup leave Arsenal for Besiktas

Arsene Wenger is pleased with the progress Oguzhan Ozyakup has made at Besiktas since leaving Arsenal two years ago.

Oguzhan Ozyakup joined Arsenal back in 2008 amid a lot of expectations and promise, but four years later he was on his way out of the Emirates Stadium.

Ozyakup could make just two appearances for the Gunners’ first team and not a single one in the Premier League during his time with the North London club.

Besiktas came calling for the youngster and signed him from Arsenal for €500,000 in June 2012.

Since then, the 21-year-old midfielder has resurrected his career and is now in line to face his former club in the first leg of their Champions League playoff tie at the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul on Tuesday.

Now a full Turkey international with seven caps to his name, Ozyakup will be crucial to Besiktas’s chances of progressing to the group stage of Europe’s premier club competition at the expense of Arsenal.

The Premier League club's manager, Arsene Wenger, understands that all too well and is pleased with the progress that his former player has made at Besiktas. He also explained why he had to let the former AZ youngster leave.

‘I’m happy that he came here’, Arsenal’s official website quotes the Frenchman as saying. ‘He was educated by us and we saw that he had top quality and technically he is very good.

‘Physically he can run all day, he has very good stamina and a good final pass.

'I always thought he could make a career but at our club he had big competition in front of him and that is why we let him go.

‘It is good to see he has made it to the top level and is now an important player in Turkey’.

Whether Ozyakup helps Besiktas get the better of Arsenal over two legs in the playoff tie remains to be seen, but the youngster’s presence in the line-up of one of Turkey’s biggest teams proves that not every player who is ‘rejected’ by a big club is a failure.

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