Why Arsenal should sign Orkun Kokcu as a long-term prospect
The 18-year-old attacking midfielder, who burst on to the scene at Feyenoord in the previous campaign, is fast emerging as one of the brightest prospects in the Eredivisie and has already earned rave reviews for his talent and potential.
Kokcu’s development has been monitored closely by scouts of several top European clubs and, with Arsenal now joining the race to sign the teenage sensation, Feyenoord are likely to find it extremely difficult to hold on to their academy graduate. (h/t Daily Mail)
The same report claims that the Gunners are yet to make an official approach for the player’s services but it is understood that a fee of around £20 million would be enough to prise the midfielder away from his boyhood club.
Born in Holland to parents of Turkish descent, Orkun Kokcu rose through the youth ranks of Groningen and Feyenoord before making his senior professional debut for the latter in the previous campaign.
Despite making only 5 starts in the Eredivisie in his breakthrough season, the highly-rated attacking midfielder racked up 3 goals and 4 assists and he has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past twelve months, establishing himself as one of the first-team regulars under manager Jaap Stam.
Kokcu has started seven out of Feyenoord’s first nine league fixtures in the Eredivisie this season, while also making his presence felt in the Europa League.
The 18-year-old was one of the standout performers for the Dutch outfit in their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Rangers on Matchday 1 and the potential suitors will be keeping a close eye on his performances when the action resumes after the international break.
Suffice to say, Orkun Kokcu might only be 18 but he already has an envious profile for a player of his age and Arsenal’s links with the teenage prodigy hardly comes as a big surprise, given that the Gunners are always on the lookout for bright emerging prospects anywhere across the globe.
That he is playing and excelling at the senior professional level at the tender age of 18 is indicative of a level of maturity that belies his tender years and Arsenal are probably looking at him as one for the future.
The Turkish U-21 international is regarded as a player with serious potential and he certainly fits the bill in North London, with the Gunners currently putting a lot of emphasis on buying young players and grooming them for the future as a part of their long-term plans moving forward under Unai Emery.
The Eredivisie sensation has earned plaudits for his technical abilities on the ball and his ambidextrous nature as a creative midfielder, as well as a high level of footballing intelligence that is rare to find among players of his age. He is hardly the finished article just yet but early signs suggest that he could go on to have a big future in the beautiful game.
The Gunners have splashed the cash on little-known youngsters like William Saliba, Matteo Guendouzi and Gabriel Martinelli since the appointment of Emery, whilst also bringing through academy prospects like Emile Smith-Rowe, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka.
To that end, it is clear that they are trying to build a strong platform for the future and someone like Orkun Kokcu could be yet another exciting addition to the existing pool of burgeoning talents at the club.
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Emery has illustrated a good level of proficiency when it comes to extracting the best out of youngsters and Kokcu might be the next in the queue to enjoy the fruits.
All in all, Arsenal making a move for Orkun Kokcu would be a shrewd piece of business and a step in the right direction that underpins what they are trying to achieve moving forward.