Arsenal and Sevilla are reportedly set to go head to head to land Feyenoord’s 19-year-old midfielder Orkun Kokcu.
According to a report published by Daily Star, Arsenal have joined the race for Orkun Kokcu, who was having a fantastic season before the Dutch season was abandoned due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The teenage sensation came through the club’s academy last season, but featured in only 11 games during the latter half of the campaign. However, his performances were enough to land him a starting spot this season in the first team.
The 19-year-old is a versatile player who can play upfront as an attacking midfielder, as a central midfielder or if need be, a deep lying playmaker as well. Kokcu started 21 out of the 22 games he featured in this season, and has registered 2 goals and 4 assists. He’s an exceptional passer of the ball, and boasts of a 87% passing accuracy.
The Turk has a variety of skills in his portfolio, but his best attribute is his playmaking and passing range. Kokcu has exceptional vision and his long passing is on display every game. Feyenoord went through a rather disappointing Europa League campaign, but Kokcu caught the eye of several top clubs, including Arsenal and Sevilla.
He has refused to sign a new contract, but his current deal expires in 2023, which means the 19-year-old will not come cheap. Currently, Arsenal have 5 central midfielders on their payroll, out of which is a certain Dani Ceballos who is hesitant to join the club permanently and will cost no less than €50 million anyway.
In Kokcu, Arsenal could get a player very similar to Ceballos in terms of passing, control and playmaking. Moreover, he boasts of a similar passing range as David Luiz, who himself has extraordinary passing range and accuracy.
Arsenal could see several departures in the summer, including their talisman and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. And without Champions League football, Mikel Arteta gets the chance to do a team overhaul his way.
Sevilla, like Arsenal, could do with a midfielder with the portfolio of Kokcu. All of the 5 central midfielders in Sevilla’s are over 25, and 2 of them are well over 30. Julen Lopetegui is a manager who appreciates quick passing and positional changes over anything else. Lopetegui’s team play a style very similar to Pep Guardiola’s, and Kokcu fits that profile almost perfectly.
On a personal level, Kokcu should consider moving to Sevilla over Arsenal to play under a manager who can polish his best skills even further. A good short lived stint in Sevilla could be the gateway to even bigger clubs than Arsenal.