The Daily Retina
Arsenal is moving quickly to find a successor even though they may lose one or two fans’ favourites this summer.
What has changed since Orkun Kokcu joined Arsenal?
Orkun Kokcu, the exceptional captain for Feyenoord, is reportedly a target for Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar, according to the Portuguese publication Record (via Sport Witness).
The Turkish international had a stellar season in the title-winning team’s engine room after sensationally breaking Ajax’s Eredivisie stranglehold. His midfield prowess has been crucial, which is why certain European powerhouses are naturally interested in him.
Benfica is rumoured to have been deterred by the €40 million (£35 million) price tag, but the Gunners, along with Liverpool and Sevilla, are still in the running.
Given that Granit Xhaka appears to be getting closer to leaving, this may be a smart move to replace an ageing star with one who has a bright future.
Orkun Kokcu’s talent level?
Their new potential midfield general, who also has just as much pedigree in front of goal as he has at dictating play, could readily transfer the plaudits that the Swiss international has received for his rather unexpectedly creative role this season.
Xhaka’s team came close to winning the league after he scored five goals and provided seven assists, but Kokcu finished first with 12 goals and five assists across all competitions.
In addition to recovering possession once each game, he also makes 1.1 tackles, which contributes to his 7.47 average rating. It is nonetheless impossible to ignore his incredible 2.7 critical passes per game and 85% pass accuracy, which further highlight his level as being above this tier, according to Sofascore.
Despite all of his advantages, the leaving 30-year-old simply cannot match these remarkable numbers. His 1.3 critical passes each game contribute to his impressive 7.01 average rating, but according to Sofascore, it is still much below that of his potential successor.
In order to highlight the gap between them even more, Mohamed Sissoko claimed that Xhaka, 22, is “the best in his league” while Arteta praised him for being a “really important player” for the Gunners.
He was compared to some of the greatest midfielders of this generation by the former Juventus midfield, who continued: Luke Modric. (Kokcu) plays equally well in my opinion. He might one day rise to his level.
Such elitist flattery only strengthens Kokcu’s position as an improvement over their existing engine room veteran, who has done admirably to salvage a career on north London that appeared to be dead and buried after his altercation with the supporters many years ago.
However, if Edu moves fast to find a good replacement, his joyful departure might be quickly forgotten.
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