Silly season is well and truly underway once again, and Everton are expected to be in the thick of things in January following a horrendous start to the season. Despite Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh overhauling the spine of the squad over the last two transfer windows, there are still plenty of weak areas that require upgrades or reinforcements.
Which is why it’s very puzzling that the Blues are being linked with positions like central midfield where Everton are quite deep, if not necessarily good. The latest box-to—box midfielder named as a Toffees target is Besiktas captain Oguzhan Ozyakup.
Turkish outlet Fotomac are reporting that Everton have asked for official authorization to speak with the 26-year-old whose contract expires at the end of this season. Arsenal are also being linked with the player, who was sold back in 2012 by the Gunners for a measly £400,000 to Besiktas, who have since then risen to the top of the Super Lig winning two consecutive League titles and are leading Group G in the Champions League this season.
Ozyakup is not expected to sign a new deal with Besiktas after he lost his spot in the starting eleven to Tolgay Arslan, and will likely seek greener pastures if not in January then at the end of the season.
Everton have also been linked with another Besiktas player recently, star striker Cenk Tosun. A move for Ozyakup only begins to make sense if a wholesale clearout of players is expected in the coming months.
James McCarthy has been a peripheral figure due to his injury issues, while Muhamed Besic has barely played and doesn’t have the quality to be a regular starter. Tom Davies is now an established starter, and the arrival of youngster Beni Baningime along with the gradual demise of Morgan Schneiderlin have also made it easier for Steve Walsh and whoever will become the permanent manager to overhaul the midfield.
Ozyakup has featured for Besiktas in 13 games this season including four times in the Champions League, with no goals and two assists. He was also sent off against Fenehrbahce after picking up two cautions in the heated local rivalry. The midfielder has 32 Turkish senior caps, and featured in both losses for the Turks in the current international break.