Why West Ham should make a move for Oguzhan Ozyakup in January
Back in 2017, a report from the Turkish Football had claimed that West Ham were interested in signing Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.
Oguzhan Ozyakup, 26, spent four years with Arsenal; however, he only made one appearance for the Gunners in the League Cup before leaving to join Besiktas in 2012. He is an immensely talented player capable of turning games on his own but he has been disappointing in the Super Lig over the last two seasons.
The midfielder managed just league 19 appearances last season, bagging a goal and three assists. With Ozyakup set to hit his prime, West Ham should reignite their interest in the player when the transfer window reopens in January.
West Ham have recovered well after their hammering against Manchester City in their first game of the season. They have got eight points from their next four games, showing signs of improvement. There are areas Manuel Pellegrini must reinforce in the transfer window and one of them is the midfield.
The Hammers look short in the midfield department having sold Pedro Obiang to Sassuolo in the summer. Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez are fit as of now but they have a bad injury record in the past.
That leaves Declan Rice and Mark Noble as the only reliable options Pellegrini has in the middle of the park, although the latter’s regression has become distinct over the past 12 months.
That’s why signing Oguzhan Ozyakup would make sense. An enterprising and influential central midfielder, Ozyakup has spent much of the last two seasons with Besiktas playing in a deep-lying role. He can thrive in a deeper role as his positioning is excellent, and he also boasts the expertise and vision to begin attacks from deep.
The Turkey international likes setting the tempo and dictating play, whilst more than capable of winning the ball back from the opposition and helping in the transition from the defence to the attack.
He would be the proper number 8, who would be able to help the creative players like Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson in attack as well as drop back to help out the defence when needed.
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Comfortable on the ball, skilful and creatively adept, Ozyakup could be the long-term replacement for the ageing Noble and the perfect partner for Rice in central midfield.
If West Ham do manage to bring the 26-year-old to the London Stadium this summer, it could prove to be a signing of real significance for the east London club.