Arsenal’s recruitment often takes some slack for not being efficient enough. They’ve been criticised for not making signings that essentially present a value for money, especially in the defence. But the recent links with Feyenoord youngster Orkun Kokcu show that things aren’t as dull as people might think.
While the reliability of the links can certainly be questioned, but there is also a chance that the club is merely keeping an eye on the 19-year-old. That too should be a positive sign for the club’s fans, considering the player’s abilities.
It is easy to point out that Kokcu isn’t the most well-known youngster in the Netherlands. But for a country that has a conveyer belt of talent coming through, it is obvious that some will surely be ensnared at some point. Kokcu is just one of those players.
An attacking midfielder by trade, the Turkey international is well capable of playing in wide areas too. This season, he’s playing more as an advanced midfielder in a 4-3-3 shape. Kokcu has made 22 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring two goals and picking up four assists on the way.
His breakthrough to the first-team had come last season when the midfielder had made 11 Eredivisie appearances and had an impressive tally of three goals and four assists. Those impressive numbers led to him playing more often this season and becoming a regular fixture in the side.
He’s risen through the ranks at the Feyenoord academy on a consistent basis, growing as a creative talent. This season, he has come up with 1.2 key passes per game for the Rotterdam-based side. He is completing one dribble per game, also taking 1.8 shots per game.
He isn’t the most prolific dribbler and isn’t the most ferocious creator. But there is a balance between both and Kokcu does have a final pass in his play. Taking fewer shots on target will certainly mean a lesser goal output and that is the case with him too.
He is the sort of player who, apart from trying to create, keeps play ticking. He has played 42.2 passes per game this season with a very good accuracy of 84.7 percent in the league. His tally of 2.6 long-balls per game shows that he likes to keep switching play from side to side and likes to keep the ball moving.
Kokcu does get dribbled past often and isn’t a tackler by any means. That isn’t his strength and his positives lie in the more possession-based traits.
For the Gunners, Kokcu will represent a cheap and reliable business. With Dani Ceballos currently in a struggle, he already seems to be looking for a way out. Considering how he hasn’t played much under Mikel Arteta, his replacement will not play in every game either.
At the age of 19, Kokcu will only improve from where he currently is. Under a manager who likes to play a 4-3-3 with a possession-based style like teams do in the Netherlands, Kokcu fits right into an advanced midfield role as back-up to Mesut Ozil, whose involvement makes it a 4-2-3-1.
He presents a cheap deal and that will mean lower expectations than Ceballos, who had come from Real Madrid with a huge burden on his shoulders. He will grow in his role gradually and he will play as much as his price will be. But with time, he could be a potential Ozil replacement in the long-term and yield Arsenal a profit.