Who is Orkun Kokcu? The Feyenoord star linked with £23m Arsenal transfer

JOE KRISHNAN
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Arsenal will have to spend what transfer budget they have very wisely this summer, and rumours of a move for Feyenoord's young midfielder Orkun Kokcu are gathering pace.

Reports last month suggested Arsenal had opened talks about a potential swoop for the 19-year-old, with technical director Edu prioritising a deal for the youngster this summer.

It is claimed that the north London outfit wanted to seal a deal before Euro 2020, but those plans have been shelved after the tournament was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But according to Dutch outlet Voetbal International, Arsenal are expected to submit a bid for Kokcu within weeks, with Feyenoord open to selling in order to raise funds of their own.

Here's everything you need to know about the Feyenoord starlet...

(Getty Images)

Career to date

Born in Haarlem, Netherlands, Kokcu is of Turkish descent. Despite representing the country of his birth at youth level, he switched international allegiance in 2019 and has represented Turkey's Under-21 team on two occasions.

Having spent his early football years at Groningen, Kokcu joined Feyenoord in 2014 and graduated from the club's famed Varkenoord academy three years later.

He made his first-team debut in September 2018 in the KNVB Cup tie against VV Gemert, scoring in a 4-0 win before making his Eredivisie bow in December 2018.

Kokcu has emerged as a key player for Dick Advocaat's side this season - scoring two goals and registering six assists in 22 appearances- and his performances have not gone unnoticed among Europe's elite.

Kokcu has made 29 appearances for Feyenoord Photo: Getty Images

Playing style

While Kokcu is primarily viewed as a central midfielder, the 19-year-old is a gifted technician on the ball and has been tipped to move further up the field as a playmaker.

That could make him an ideal replacement for Mesut Ozil, who at 31 is beginning to show signs of decline and has been linked with a departure from north London.

The Turkish youngster enjoys dictating play in the central areas of the pitch and has a keen eye for a pass, much like Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabregas, preferring to control proceedings from deeper positions.

Kokcu possesses a powerful shot from long range and memorably scored a wonderful goal from 30 yards against FC Utrecht earlier in the 2019-20 campaign.

What they've said

Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam, who managed Kokcu while in charge at Feyenoord, is perhaps best-placed to give his opinion on the midfielder.

And the Dutchman has been very complimentary of Kokcu, claiming that he has the ability to play in England.

"He would need to adjust because the step to Arsenal and the Premier League is totally different when you compare it to Holland," Stam told Goal.

Kokcu's former coach, Jaap Stam, thinks he's ready for the Premier League Photo: AFP

"The pace of the game, the quality, the intensity is a lot higher. But he has the ability. He is a player who has the personality to want to improve, he always wants to do better.

"When I joined Feyenoord, he hadn’t played a lot because everyone said he was too young. I put him in the first team and let him play most of the games, I trusted him and saw a lot of ability in him.

"Now he’s proving himself in Holland and is one of the best midfield players in the country. He’s certainly got the ability to make that step to the Premier League."

Interest

Now that the Eredivisie season has been cancelled, it's feasible that Kokcu could make the move to the Premier League.

While there is reportedly interest from several European clubs, Arsenal are said to be readying a £23million bid for the talented midfielder - and Feyenoord are said to be open to letting him move on to boost their funds.