Besiktas star Oguzhan Ozyakup continues to show there's life after Arsenal

Besiktas Fans1

Oguzhan Ozyakup left London for Istanbul in the summer of 2012 and is in the midst of his best season to date in Turkey.

Top of the Turkish Super Lig and two points clear of their nearest rivals, outsiders would probably attribute Besiktas' impressive start to the goals of Mario Gomez.

But such an assumption does not tell the whole story and while the former Bayern Munich man has played his part with nine goals in 12 domestic appearances, others have also played a significant role.

One such contributor is midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup, a former Arsenal youth prospect who realised at an early age that he would need to go backwards before he could go forwards.

Not that Besiktas is as significant a step backwards as others have faced – the Turkish side are among the biggest in their national league and a regular fixture in Europe – but after failing to make a single Premier League appearance at the Emirates action had to be taken.

So Ozyakup, who had made only a handful of League Cup appearances for the Gunners, made the decision to move to Besiktas in the summer of 2012.

It was a deal that suited everyone – the Turkish side got their man for a reported €500,000 with Ozyakup bagging a €100,000 sign on bonus.

And the deal has certainly proven to be value for money with Ozyakup a mainstay of the Besiktas midfield ever since.

Over nearly three-and-a-half seasons, the 23-year-old midfielder has racked up 117 appearances, 16 goals and 31 assists for the Istanbul side.

He's also on course for his best ever season with Besiktas, having already racked up four goals and five assists from 11 league games.

Ozyakup's latest came in a 2-0 win over Sivasspor that saw the Black Eagles go top.

But the former Arsenal man's superb displays are not limited to the Turkish top flight either.

He's already bagged one assist from three appearances in the Europa League, for instance, while Ozyakup has also got off the mark for the Turkey national side, scoring in a famous Euro 2016 qualifying win over Holland.

Known for his passing and dribbling abilities at Besiktas, the 23-year-old is as comfortable in an advanced central midfield role as he is a more defensive one.

And with several Premier League sides linked with Ozyakup in recent months, it would not be a surprise to see this former Arsenal youth star come back to haunt the Gunners.

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