Arsenal have reportedly edged ahead of AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund in the under-the-radar race to sign Besiktas schemer Oguzhan Ozyakup.
With mentions of the Gunners’ interest in the Turkish international before Manchester United’s purchase of Paul Pogba very hard to come by, cynics may suggest the concept of a big Premier League club re-signing a former youth player for an amount of money that towers over the pittance which he was originally sold for is the motivation for this particular rumour.
What further discredits the plausibility of the transfer actually taking place is that Arsene Wenger already has more playmakers at his disposal than any one manager might need.
The Frenchman is seriously short in other departments though, most notably at centre-back and up front.
If reintroducing a cast-off youngster to the ranks is part of Wenger’s transfer plans (as there is no other possible explanation as to why he’d want to sign Ozyakup), he could at least use the intention to help remedy one of the aforementioned issues.
Bournemouth’s dependency on Benik Afobe dipped somewhat following the return of Callum Wilson from a serious knee injury.
The Cherries paid £10m to sign the former England Under-21 striker from Wolverhampton Wanderers last January, £8m more than the Midlanders had paid Arsenal for his services 12 months earlier.
Having scored freely at League One and Championship level, Afobe found the net a respectable four times in his first 15 Premier League matches, yet finished the season on the first-team fringes following a combination of Wilson’s comeback and the form of Joshua King.
A sizeable bid might tempt Bournemouth to sell, especially after they shelled out a reported £5m on precocious French forward Lys Mousset this summer.
Afobe’s style is contrasted to that of the current Arsenal frontmen and he has proved that, when provided the service, he scores goals.
He’s not the world-class marksman fans were hoping the Gunners would sign, but he’d be a more worthwhile acquisition than Ozyakup.