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Berkay Ozcan: An Attacking Midfielder at an Arsenal Price That This Ozil Less Arsenal Squad Needs

Berkay Ozcan

According to reports from German outlet Transfermarkt, Arsenal have revived their interest in Istanbul Basaksehir player Berkay Ozcan and have placed the midfielder on their list of potential recruits. Arsenal have been observing Ozcan since 2017 when he played at Vfb Stuttgart and have stepped-up their interest in him.

The search for the missing link at the Emirates continues, with Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu scouring the planet for that elusive attacking midfielder/playmaker who could help unleash the full potential of their strike force. Yes, Arsenal have looked better recently in all departments but with so many games ahead, it would be completely reckless to exhaust the excellent Emile Smith Rowe.

Arteta isn’t stupid, he knows that he is one injury away from ending up without an inventive player that can unlock defences. ESR isn’t the finished article but everyone at the Emirates believes in the youngster and there isn’t a club on the planet that could offer enough money to tempt Arsenal to sell. He is so highly regarded that Arteta will do everything to protect the future star of Arsenal’s midfield, until such time that he is 100% ready.

In the meantime, Arsenal need someone to replace Ozil. I’m reluctant to run through the exhausting list of candidates again but I can offer up a new name that will prove to be attractive to Arsenal for several reasons, including price. Berkay Ozcan is the latest in an endless line of midfielders who is allegedly under consideration. So, what can we tell you?

Berkay Ozcan
Istanbul Basaksehir’s Turkish midfielder Berkay Ozcan (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Well, the 22-year-old plays for Istanbul Basaksehir FK and is a player that likes to bring the ball forward. He is a good passer over short or long distances and can play as an attacking midfielder or DM, but it’s his physicality that makes him ideal for the Premier League. He’s solid and able to hold off challengers but he can also move from defence to attack with the minimum of fuss.

Berkay Ozcan is powerful, has a good engine, and is willing and capable of covering ground in both directions. He has tricks and flicks in his repertoire, possesses good balance, and is always looking to break forward. He can set up the play, pull players out but also get onto the end of things. Better still, he will cost just over £4m. Is he the player Arsenal need?

Fans will want a big name player as they always tend to do, but we’ve had those and where have they got us? Ozil was one such figure and Sanchez was another and it didn’t take too long to discover that a player such as Aaron Ramsey was worth double just for his effort, commitment, and loyalty.

Perhaps, we can learn something from that chapter in Arsenal’s history and look for a Ramsey or Parlour type figure. A player that compliments what we already have and can combine with all the existing talents. To be honest, Arsenal need a player that can deliver service to its attacking players.

It doesn’t need Ronaldo, although I doubt the club would say no, it has enough flair players at its fingertips. It needs a grafter, an intelligent and gifted visionary who plays for the team, not someone who is self-obsessed or a one-man-band interested in their own profile.


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Could Berkay Ozcan be that player? Well, he has the tools to fit the position but as with any transfer, it’s a risk in the Premier League. From what I’ve seen, he could certainly add another dimension to the midfield, he’s an upgrade on Xhaka who neither excels in defence or attack.

He loves nothing more than to tempt players out and then jiggle through them just before laying off the ball into the space his presence has created. He may not tick every box but who raved about Patrick Vieira before his arrival. Don’t be so keen to write a player off because he doesn’t play for Real Madrid or command £200,000 in wages every week. Broken glass can pass for Diamonds, but Gold is unmistakable in any form.

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The Highbury Flyer
Anti Kroenke , anti Gazidis but always a gooner. Still wishes he could watch from the stands at the Highbury library.

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