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Bilic linked with 'the Turkish Ozil'

Filed: Thursday, 26th May 2016
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are said to be considering making an offer for Besiktas star Oguzhan Ozyakup.

A team mate of Slaven Bilic's top transfer target Gokhan Tore, 'Ozzy' - as he is popularly known - is a Dutch-born midfielder who appeared for both the Netherlands and Turkey at youth level before deciding to feature for the latter at full senior level.

The 23-year-old started life at AZ Alkmaar's Academy before joining Arsenal's youth set-up in 2008 - where he remained for four years, making just two first team appearances, before joining Besiktas for whom he has already featured on 110 occasions.

Although Ozyakup was already at Besiktas before Hammers boss Bilic became general manager in 2013, he became a firm favourite of the Croatian manager's.

And only last year, Bilic hailed the midfielder as Turkey's best player - likening him to Arsenal's Mesuit Ozil.

"Oguzhan Ozyakup is, for me, Turkey's most talented footballer," he said during an interview last October. "The intelligence and quality in the pass really needs to be appreciated.

"I liken him to a snake, he moves like a snake, he rules out the competition. The more muscle means you are less limber. See Mesut Ozil, physically he and Oguzhan are exactly the same."

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