With Aston Villa consigned to a second season in the Sky Bet Championship, following last season’s relegation from the Premier League, their eyes are turning elsewhere with CNN TURK reporting interest in Oğuzhan Özyakup.
CNN TURK say that, alongside bigger clubs such as Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan, Villa will be one of 15 clubs sending representatives to see Oğuzhan Özyakup in action for Besiktas in their UEFA Europa League tie against French side Lyon.
Özyakup has experience of English football, having joined Arsenal’s Under-18s from AZ Alkmaar’s Under-17 set up at the start of September 2008. He progressed to the Arsenal reserves/Under-21s before being sold to current club Besiktas at the start of July 2012.
During his time at Arsenal, Özyakup made 41 appearances for the Under-23s, scoring six times and setting up 11 assists. He also made two full Arsenal appearances in the EFL Cup, setting up an assist.
Since his 2012 transfer to Besiktas, Oğuzhan Özyakup has made 174 appearances, scoring 26 times and providing 38 assists in the Turkish Süper Lig. He also has gone on to make 25 appearances for Turkey, scoring once, despite his international career starting out with appearances for his native Holland Under17s/19s sides.
With rumours circulating that Steve Bruce is looking to reshuffle the side, allowing recent signing mile Jedinak to leave, an option to bring in a seasoned international such as Oğuzhan Özyakup may be too good an opportunity to turn down.
Aston Villa will be looking to rebound from Easter Monday’s disappointing 3-1 loss to Fulham against local rivals Birmingham on Saturday in a game that will see Harry Redknapp at the reins for the first time for the Blues.