Besiktas captain Oguzhan Ozyakup has reportedly been offered a contract by Arsenal, with his deal with the Black Eagles set to expire in May. The former Arsenal academy product was tipped for big things, but ultimately failed to make a single Premier League appearance under Arsene Wenger, making just two league cup appearances in total.
Since leaving Arsenal, Ozyakup has earned a stellar reputation, making over 200 appearances for his club and earning 32 caps for Turkey. This experience will ensure he is in high demand this summer, and with no transfer fee attached, he will be looking for a large contract and the guarantee of playing time. But, will he get this at Arsenal? And, do Arsenal need him?
With Oguzhan Ozyakup available on a free transfer, there is no doubt that this is a deal Arsenal must look at. Since leaving the club, he’s improved drastically, and his Dutch education has ensured he has the aesthetics required to play for Arsenal. He would certainly be an upgrade on Mohammad Elneny, and he would offer depth in the squad.
During his time at Besiktas, Oguzhan Ozyakup has gone from a creative attacking midfielder to an orthodox box to box player with a great engine and can play in the defensive midfield role which is a big plus. Despite improving the defensive side of his game, he is still very much an attack minded player, looking to influence the game in the final third and get involved in the play as much as possible.
At present, Arsenal have two top class box to box midfielders – Wilshere and Ramsey, and they are both performing at a much, much higher level than Ozyakup. Both players have contracts coming to an end soon, and Arsenal are deep in negotiations with the pair. If Arsenal fail to tie down Wilshere, a move for Oguzhan Ozyakup may make sense.
But, are Arsenal looking at his quality, or his history with the club and his availability? Would he improve the quality of the squad? Would he help Arsenal mount a serious title challenge? The answer has to be no. Despite being a good player, Oguzhan Ozyakup will not improve the quality of this Arsenal team in the way someone like Fabinho would.
If Arsenal are to compete, they must be shrewd in contract negotiations, and that meaning staying clear of players who will not improve the team. Arsenal must look at players who will make a big impact, paying more in wages, but reducing the size of the squad – quality over quantity. Sadly, Oguzhan Ozyakup falls into the later section. He would be being signed for depth, not to help Arsenal truly kick on.