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Player of the week: From Arsenal youth to Besiktas star – Oguzhan Ozyakup

Beşiktaş midfielder Oğuzhan Özyakup put in a scintillating performance against Mersin as the Black Eagles recorded a 5-2 victory in their opening game of the season.

The Turkish international midfielder setup hat-trick hero Cenk Tosun with his first goal and also provided the assist for his third. Özyakup also setup Olcay Şahan with an intricate pass from inside the penalty area for his sides fourth goal and came close to scoring himself a number of times.

In total Özyakup completed 44 passes with an 86 percent accuracy and made a total of six key passes in the 74 minutes he played against the Mediterranean based side, scoring a 9.10 rating for his performance according to Whoscored.

Özyakup will be a name familiar to Premier League youth football aficionados. The Turkish international midfielder played a major role in Arsenal’s Under-18s side that won the Premier Academy League title in 2009 and made a few appearances in cup competitions for the Gunners before joining Beşiktaş in 2012 for a fee of €500,000.

The 22-year-old was born in Holland and captained the Dutch side to the final of the 2009 Under-17 European Championships before switching allegiances to the Turkish national team.

Özyakup struggled to really find his feet under the stewardship of former boss Slaven Bilic but is expected to feature as a key member of Şenol Güneş’s side this season.

The young midfielder undoubtedly has a lot of quality but he will need to perform at this level consistently throughout the season to really reach his potential.

All eyes will be on the former Arsenal man as Beşiktaş face their first real test of the season next week as they take on Trabzonspor at home.
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