Oğuzhan Özyakup - Leaving Arsenal was one of the hardest things I've ever done
Oğuzhan Özyakup gave a brief interview to Turkish newspaper, Habertürk, giving an insight on his youth, time playing at Arsenal FC as well as his future ambitions.
Özyakup was born into a Turkish migrant family in The Netherlands, his father emigrated from Trabzon in 1986. The Beşiktaş midfielder was first introduced to football aged five by his dad in his local park.
The 19-year-old playmaker stated that his childhood dream was to play for Arsenal, "My dream was to play for Arsenal or Barcelona, Arsenal signed me and I represented the Dutch U-16, U-17 and U-19 national teams as captain.
"My childhood dream was to play for Arsenal. Now I'm going to play for Beşiktaş, God must be helping me as I'm living my dream. First Arsenal, then Beşiktaş, in the future perhaps Barcelona.
"God willing I'll prove myself hear and attract interest from Barcelona. However, if I settle in and become successful here I could consider staying here for the remainder of my career."
Özyakup explained that he had a great time at Arsenal and built a strong relationship with Robin van Persie, saying, "Arsenal really treated me well, Van Persie helped me a lot when I first joined from The Netherlands. He would invite me to his family home for meals.
"Van Persie was a great motivator, I promised him I'd score in my first game but unfortunately I couldn't. However, he told me after the game I would have scored if given another 20 minutes and praised my performance.
"Leaving Arsenal was one of the hardest things I've ever done, it was really upsetting. However, Beşiktaş made me an offer which was hard to refuse, one of the biggest clubs in Turkey was promising me first team football.
"I consulted Van Persie and he agreed that it was in my best interests to make the move" he said.
Özyakup described his style of play by saying, "I love to make through-ball passes, I don't really like to praise myself, I'd rather other people did. I need to improve my left foot and increase my strength in general.
"I can't wait to play for Beşiktaş in front of their incredible supporters, I just hope I can live up to their expectations and make them proud."
The Turkish Under-21 international midfielder is the product of the AZ Alkmaar academy and Arsenal FC academies. Özyakup signed for Arsenal on schoolboy forms on 1 September 2008 from AZ Alkmaar.
Özyakup played a major role in Arsenal's Under-18s side that won the Premier Academy League title in 2009 and captained the Dutch side to the final of the 2009 Under-17 European Championships before switching allegiances to the Turkish national team.