Friday, January 27, 2023

Arsenal Set To Step Up Their Efforts To Sign This Turkish Midfielder: The Right Choice By Arteta?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to La Razon, Arsenal are ready to compete with Sevilla in the pursuit of Orkun Kokcu. The Feyenoord playmaker has been identified as Sevilla’s primary alternative for Baptiste Santamaria. But, the La Liga side could face stiff competition from the Gunners, who are ready to fork out €26.5 million to secure the services of Kokcu in the summer.

What can Kokcu offer to the table?

An attacking midfielder by trade, Kokcu’s style of play can be compared to Arsenal superstar Mesut Ozil. He likes to hover around the half-spaces, linking up play from one end to another. The Eredivisie star has an excellent sense of positioning while his awareness allows him to rotate possession quiet easily, even under tight pressure.

The 19-year-old has notably averaged 1.6 key passes per game this season. Meanwhile, a tally of 1.2 successful dribbles is indicative of his ability to get past opposing defenders. It makes Kokcu an excellent ball-carrier in the final third, which is often helpful to teams like Arsenal that like to play with a lot of possession.

Another vital essence of Kokcu’s game is his willingness to test the goalkeeper. He has averaged an impressive 1.8 shots on goal per game this season, with a majority of them coming from outside the box.

Where does Kokcu fit into the Arsenal side?

Being an attacking midfielder, one can argue that Kokcu could turn out to be a replacement for Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian international is currently on loan at AS Roma. It won’t be surprising to see Arsenal offloading him permanently in the summer, and that’s where Kokcu could come into the fray.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 19: Orkun Kokcu of Feyenoord runs past Steven Davis of Rangers FC during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Rangers FC and Feyenoord at Ibrox Stadium on September 19, 2019, in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The Turkish whizkid can provide additional competition to Ozil and Joe Willock in the number ten slot. He can even be deployed as a central midfielder, giving Arteta more tactical options in the middle third of the park. And should Dani Ceballos returns to Bernabeu in the summer, Kokcu could be utilised as an ideal replacement.

Should Arsenal get rid of Ozil?

Ozil’s potential departure from Emirates this summer could instantly make Kokcu a prominent part of the Arsenal first-team. And to that end, it might not be a bad idea to offload the German and for several reasons.

Over the past couple of years, Ozil’s decline has been evident. He hasn’t been able to add more intensity to the Arsenal attack, and despite improving under Arteta, his performances haven’t been convincing enough for a player of his calibre.

But more importantly, the ex-Real Madrid star earns extraordinarily high wages at Arsenal, which means his departure could allow the north London giants to recover their financial structure and possibly keep hold of stars like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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