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Transfer Rumor: Arsenal reportedly looking to bring back former youth team midfielder

Well, everyone says they need another central midfielder.

Arsenal v Besiktas
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Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Because everyone likes transfer rumours in the middle of February, the storm around the remaking of Arsenal has had a new name thrown into the ring. Arsene Wenger is reportedly looking to bring back former youth academy midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup, presumably for more than that he’s got a kick-ass name. Ozyakup is out of a contract this summer with Turkish champions Besiktas and, according to Turkish news outlet Aksam, Wenger has reached out to him for a chance at a reunion on a free.

Ozyakup had a decent career with the Arsenal youth, winning the Youth FA Cup in 2009 but never made the leap to the first team, having a few appearances as an unnamed substitute and two starts in the League Cup in 2011. In 2012, he joined Besiktas for a meager transfer fee of €500,000, but went on to being a pretty important part of the team. Over six seasons, he amassed 27 goals and 46 assists over 207 appearances, helping them to two straight Super Lig titles.

It is not shocking to hear Arsenal are looking at central midfielders. Currently, it is the major weakness for this side. However, Ozyakup is another attacking player rather than the defensive stalwart Arsenal so clearly need. His name won’t exactly excite fans either, nor will he be certain of starts, likely sitting behind Aaron Rasmey, Jack Wilshere and Granit Xhaka in the center of the park. More curious is it is a rare return to a player let go by Arsenal, something that hasn’t really worked out so well for Wenger in the past; see: Mathieu Flamini.

Still, the price is certainly right for a quick re-enforcement and with all the departures this January, one can’t rule out the culling at Arsenal is done.