Born in the Netherlands, Oguzhan Özyakup found himself in London as an Arsenal player at the age of 16.
A career with the Gunners didn’t work out – Özyakup made just two substitute appearances under Arsène Wenger – and the midfielder headed to Turkey. Now a key man for Besiktas and declared to play for the Turkish national team, his career is on the up.
Özyakup is now 22 years of age and managed to score his first international goal on Sunday as Turkey put European giants the Netherlands, the country he grew up in, on the brink of elimination in their Euro 2016 qualifying group.
The Dutch side, featuring former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie, last 3-0 in Istanbul with Özyakup opening the scoring.
“I scored my first goal for Turkey against the country I was born in. That’s football,” the midfielder said after the game.
Last week he was praised by Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan, and didn’t disappoint his international captain on the big stage.