By Joe Brewin
Oguzhan Ozyakup admits he owes a debt of gratitude to Robin van Persie.
The 19-year-old arrived at Arsenal as a scholar from AZ Alkmaar in 2008 and has barely looked back since, making his first-team debut in the Carling Cup two weeks ago.
Club captain Van Persie has taken the young midfielder under his wing and Ozyakup says his compatriot is a real ‘father figure’ to him in the current Arsenal squad.
“To be honest it is mostly Robin [who I look up to] because he is Dutch and he really looks after me outside of football as well,” Ozyakup told Arsenal.com.
“There are more off-field things as well and I am really, really happy he looks after me like this. I never expected him to help me that much but I am really thankful that he does that for me.
“Obviously on his Twitter feed he says little things like congratulations - it is those little things he does that are perfect and what I look up to.
“The Manchester United game when I was on the bench he said, 'when you come on I know you can do anything with the ball but without it make sure the tackles are for you',” recalled Ozyakup. “He gives you little tactics and it is unbelievable.”
Ozyakup will be hoping for another taste of Carling Cup football [LINK] when Bolton visit Emirates Stadium in two weeks’ time but beyond that he could follow the traditional route for young Gunners and head out on loan.
“I don't know what is going to happen. Obviously I want to play in the first team regularly but it depends what is happening there,” he said.
“I would like to go out and play somewhere every week and to play every game.”
- Buy your tickets for Arsenal v Bolton in the Carling Cup here.