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Oğuzhan Özyakup The Gifted Midfielder

by on November 17, 2011

Oğuzhan Özyakup has become a key figure for Neil Banfield’s side this season. After putting in impressive performances for the reserves it gave the young Dutch midfielder the opportunity to train with Arsène Wenger first team several times already this season. He was an unused substitute in the defeat to Manchester United early on this season. Özyakup made his Arsenal first team debut coming on as a second-half substitute against Shrewsbury Town in the Third Round of the Carling Cup. Making an immediate impact by getting an assist for Arsenal’s third goal of the match which was scored by Yossi Benayoun. He also came off the bench against Bolton in the Fourth Round of the Carling Cup to make his second appearance for Arsenal.

Özyakup joined Arsenal in 2008 from AZ Alkmaar, their was speculation last season about his future with the North London side. Reports said he wasn’t going to sign a new contract but he signed a new deal in May of this year. Whilst playing for the Arsenal U-18’s he was usually the player-maker of the team, being able to unlock defenses with his great passing ability. Last season Özyakup and Conor Henderson formed a good partnership in midfield for the reserves.

Former Arsenal youth coach Gary Giessing now scout for the club said this last year about Özyakup, “There’s an 18-year-old Dutch-Turkish central midfielder, Oğuzhan Özyakup, who reminds me of Fabregas.” Özyakup captained the Netherlands U-17’s team which reached the UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship final in 2009. And has two appearances for the Netherlands U-19’s team.

Usually Özyakup has played as one of the two deeper center midfielders for the reserves in the current 4-2-3-1 formation they play, similar to the first-team. This season we’ve seen Özyakup play more in the advanced attacking role for the reserves playing behind the main striker on a couple of occasions this season. Özyakup has been an instrumental figure for Neil Banfield’s side this season creating many opportunities for his team-mates getting assists. But adding more goals to his games, already scoring four goals in eight games this season for the reserves. Recently scoring a brace in the reserves victory against Norwich City reserves.

Oğuzhan Özyakup coming on as substitute to make his Arsenal debut against Shrewsbury Town in the Carling Cup Third Round this season.

With Özyakup playing in the number ten role for the Reserves a few times this season it has allowed him to form a good understanding with reserve forward Sanchez Watt. Özyakup and Watt have good link up play between the two of them, both have created a number of goals for each other this season already. Arguably the two stand out players for the reserve team this season, they have improved each others game by forming a partnership with Özyakup playing behind Watt in the Arsenal attack. Watt has been in-form for the reserves scoring seven goals in eight games and a number of them have been created by Özyakup.

Özyakup with Van Persie in training with the first-team.

Özyakup said this about Van Persie to the Arsenal website “To be honest it is mostly Robin [who I look up to] because he is Dutch and he really looks after me outside of football as well,” Van Persie is like a ‘father figure’ to Özyakup in the Arsenal team. Özyakup who has trained with Van Persie and the rest of the first-team several times this season.

Arsenal play against Manchester City on Tuesday 29 November in the Carling Cup quarter finals, no doubt Oğuzhan Özyakup will want to be part of the squad for the game. Özyakup who has everything to become a future Arsenal player. Having great technique ability, being a superb passer of the ball and improving all the time each game he plays. I wouldn’t rule out seeing Özyakup go out on loan some when this season to get that vital loan experience.


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  1. Zipho permalink

    Let’s see this come to fruition soon. I think a loan deal will help. Maybe at Bolton lol!!!!

  2. sam permalink

    yes we should send him out on loan then buy gotze or hazard for 35 millions. good thing you are not arsene wenger. players go on loan to keep match fitness only, they have nothing to learn from the lower division team.
    i don’t think arsene will repeat the same mistake he did last year anyway.
    sending a bulk of players on loan that left our team B so weak we even failed to beat leyton orient and replaying games caused team A to collapse. we need a strong team A and team B before we send anyone away on loan.

  3. pls he should be allow to play the first team. Thanks . Gooner for life.

  4. Chinedu permalink

    He definitely nds 2 play against man city.with song playing on sat. It means frimpong will be our defensive MF. I admire frimpong,1-he brings good luck(my presidnt)2 d team,we win most matches he plays & watching him against liverpool is like d kind of player dt can easily turn defence into an onrushing wave of attack wt gud passes & crisp shots-but he still has a long way 2 go 2 perfect dt.The match should be a litmus test of how good he really is.WATT on d odr hand has been blasting in goal,would love 2 see him come on during d match.FINALLY-we may destroy the CITY,with 3ple attack of chamakh& park with arshavin playing behind dm.We nd kossy & Tv5 & flapianski(better nt flap on ds one),should be in goal.

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