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 By Eren Sarigul

Arsenal keeping an eye on Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup

Arsenal have been scouting Besiktas midfielder and former Gunner Oguzhan Ozyakup.

Ozyakup, 24, was among the players Arsenal kept tabs on at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Greece during Besiktas' 1-1 Europa League round-of-16 first-leg draw against Olympiakos last week.

The Turkey international, who came through the youth ranks at Arsenal, was brought on at half-time in place of Tolgay Arslan and his introduction coincided with a marked improvement from Besiktas.

Besiktas equalised in the second half and dominated possession. Despite only playing 45 minutes, Ozyakup still managed to complete the second highest number of passes (61) after Atiba Hutchinson (69).

Arsenal scout Jurgen Kost confirmed that the Gunners are monitoring Ozyakup and could consider making a move for him in the future.

"Ozyakup is a player of the highest standard, we have been closely tracking his progress and when we do our next search for players in his position he could return to Arsenal," Kost was quoted as saying by Turkish-Football.

Oguzhan Ozyakup Besiktas
Oguzhan Ozyakup came through the youth ranks at Arsenal.

Ozyakup left Arsenal for Besiktas in 2012 for €500,000 in search of first-team football and is currently a key player for the Turkish side, playing an important role in their Super Lig title win last season.

Ozyakup has amassed 25 goals and 37 assists for Besiktas over the course of 169 appearances in all competitions.

La Liga outfit Sevilla have also been linked with Ozyakup recently and were reported to have made an offer last summer.

The central midfielder has just over a year left on his contract and Besiktas reportedly value him at €15 million.

Besiktas are currently first in the Super Lig, two points ahead of second-placed Basaksehir. They take on Olympiakos on Thursday in the return leg of their Europa League tie.

Eren Sarigul covers Turkish football for ESPN and Follow him on Twitter: @_ErenSarigul


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