Whatever happened to #15… Ozyakup, Eastmond, Cregg, Noble, Volz


Signed scholarship: 2009. Arsenal apps: 2. Subsequent career: Besiktas.

Creative midfielder Ozyakup is one of a very select band of Arsenal academy products to have established themselves at a very high level having had limited first-team opportunities in North London.

Plucked from AZ Alkmaar’s academy as a schoolboy, Ozyakup was a fringe member of the Arsenal side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2009 before playing a considerably more prominent part as the youngsters retained the Premier Academy League title the following season.

After establishing himself in the Reserves, Ozyakup was eventually rewarded with some first-team opportunities as he featured twice for the Gunners in the League Cup, providing an assist for Yossi Benayoun against Shrewsbury Town. He was also named on the bench for games against Manchester United and AC Milan.

The midfielder opted to leave Arsenal in 2012 and has since thrived for Besiktas. Tending to operate in a deep-lying position, he has endeared himself to the club’s supporters with some excellent passes. Ozyakup is also now a full Turkish international despite having represented the Netherlands at youth level.


Signed scholarship: 2007. Arsenal apps: 10. Subsequent career: Colchester United, Yeovil Town.

A defensive-midfielder who is a product of the club’s Hale End academy, there was a time, albeit only for a brief period, when it seemed as if Eastmond was set for a long-term career at Arsenal.

Having played a major part in the 2009 FA Youth Cup success at right-back, Eastmond was drafted into the first-team set-up the following season, particularly impressing in the League Cup victory over Liverpool.

Injuries to others saw him afforded call-ups in the Premier League, including a start away to Bolton Wanderers. The following season Eastmond featured in the Champions League, but he scored an own goal against Shakhtar Donetsk and struggled for first-team opportunities thereafter.

After loan spells at Millwall, Wycombe Wanderers and Colchester United, he joined the latter side on a permanent basis in 2013. Following a bright start, he found opportunities limited this season with his contract eventually being terminated by mutual consent. Eastmond recently joined fellow League One side Yeovil Town.


Signed scholarship: 2002. Arsenal apps: 3. Subsequent career: Falkirk, Hibernian, Greenock Morton, St. Mirren, Bury, St. Johnstone, Shamrock Rovers.

A midfielder of Irish descent who featured three times for the Arsenal first-team in the League Cup, Cregg has had a somewhat nomadic career since then.

He initially moved to Falkirk, for whom he made over 100 league appearances, before leaving in 2009. After a season with Hibernian he featured as a trialist for Greenock Morton in a Scottish First Division match, but eventually decided to join their rivals St. Mirren instead.

Now 29, Cregg has subsequently represented Bury and St. Johnstone and is currently back in his homeland with Shamrock Rovers.


Signed scholarship: 1998. Arsenal apps: 0. Subsequent career: West Ham United, Boston United, Bristol City (loan), Bristol City, Yeovil Town (loan), Exeter City, Rotherham United, Cheltenham Town (loan), Oldham Athletic, Exeter City (loan).

Another midfielder to have featured for several different clubs throughout his career, midfielder Noble was part of the Arsenal team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2000. 

He was let go in 2003 and briefly featured for West Ham United before dropping down the divisions by joining Boston United. He later featured for Bristol City, notably scoring from 30 yards out in the Championship play-off Semi-Final against Crystal Palace.

Since then, though, he has struggled to settle at any club and currently plays  for Exeter City on loan from Oldham Athletic.





Signed scholarship: 1999. Arsenal apps: 2. Subsequent career: Fulham, Ipswich Town (loan), St. Pauli, 1860 Munich.

A regular for Arsenal’s youth sides in the 1999/2000 season, German right-back Volz featured just twice for the Gunners’ first-team, but went on to make his name during a five year spell with Fulham.

Volz became a fan favourite at Craven Cottage due to his character and his community work. He is perhaps best known for scoring the 15,000th Premier League goal whilst playing against Chelsea in 2006.

After a short spell on loan at Ipswich Town Volz returned to Germany, initially representing St. Pauli before joining his current club 1860 Munich.




  1. Always love reading this.
    Would like to know where the likes of Barazite is. I always rated him, and somehow always end up buying him in whatever game I play. Basically carried Monaco to promotion only to disappear on loan.

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