Arsenal are among the clubs keeping an eye on Istanbul Basaksehir midfielder Berkay Ozcan, who has been performing well in the Turkish Super Lig.
According to Transfermarkt, Arsenal have emerged as the latest club to be linked with a move for Berkay Ozcan. The Istanbul Basaksehir midfielder has raised a lot of eyebrows this season with his performances, not only in the Turkish Super Lig but also in the UEFA Champions League, notably starring in his club’s the 2-1 win over Manchester United.
A product of the famed Stuttgart youth academy, Ozcan seemed to have found a lot of success following his €2.5 million move to Basaksehir in the summer, although he initially moved to Turkey in 2019 in the form of a loan deal.
A central midfielder by trade, Ozcan was always regarded as a competent playmaker even during his early days at Stuttgart. He has a certain ability to create chances in the final third, which is combined with silky footwork that allows him to drift past opposing defenders, thus making him a dynamic number ten.
During his time at Istanbul Basaksehir, however, Ozcan has also improved his overall game including his determination to win back possession for his team. The midfielder has notably attempted almost three tackles per game in the Champions League this season while also featuring in defensive midfield role, at times.
It makes him an appealing target for an Arsenal side who are in desperate need of a creative midfielder following Mesut Ozil’s rapid fall from grace. The Gunners have been unfortunate as well, with last season’s star performer Dani Ceballos failing to live up to the expectations this campaign while Bukayo Saka is not an out and out number ten.
That is where the potential addition of Ozcan could be useful. The Turkish international could operate alongside someone like Thomas Partey in the double pivot, thus offering another dimension to Arsenal’s midfield play. It should improve not only their defensive game, but also add more creative essence in the middle of the park.
Moreover, Ozcan could bring versatility to the table for Arsenal, as he can be deployed anywhere in the midfield. He does, however, lack discipline in his game and might not be the most hard-working player in the side. He also lacks experience at the highest level of football, thus raising doubts as to whether or not he can settle into the Premier League.
Arteta, therefore, needs to be wise with respect to his activity in the January transfer window, and one could argue that Arsenal need a more natural replacement for Ozil. Someone like Isco, for example, makes more sense as the Real Madrid playmaker has a lot of experience at the highest level and can also bring the winning mentality at the Emirates.