Slaven Bilic has high praise for reported transfer target Oguzhan Ozyakup

West Ham have been linked with the Turkish playmaker in recent weeks.

Earlier this month it was reported that West Ham United were joining the Premier League race for Turkish international Oguzhan Ozyakup.

Turkish source Fanatik were among many to have reported the news that West Ham, as well as Aston Villa and Atletico Madrid, were keen on the talented playmaker.

Now West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has been discussing the player, who spent part of his early career in the Arsenal youth set-up, in an interview with Fanatik.

He stated:

"I do not conceal my admiration for the Turkish national team.

"Yes, Oguzhan Ozyakup is for me Turkey's best, most talented footballer. Harmony on the field, the intelligence and quality in the pass really needs to be appreciated.

"I liken him to a snake, he moves like a snake, he rules out the competition.

"Sometimes there has been negative comments made about his physique. It is stated that further strengthening is needed. Yes, they need physical strength, but mental as well.

"The more muscle means you are less limber. See Mesut Ozil, physically he and Oğuzhan are exactly the same."

So there is no hiding his admiration for the player. Bilic of course managed him at Besiktas and played a big part in his development over the past year and would happily have him at West Ham.

Of course competition would seemingly be fierce - with a number of teams said to be keeping tabs on the highly talented 23-year-old.

Born in Holland the midfielder joined Arsenal in 2008 from AZ Alkmaar and never made an appearance for the first-team before heading to Besiktas in 2012 - where he eventually worked with West Ham boss Bilic.

He has 12 caps for his national team scoring one goal, against his birthplace Holland, in a game that helped knock them out of Euro 2016 qualifying.

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