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Leeds can find Pablo Hernandez replacement in Feyenoord’s Orkun Kokcu

According to reports, Leeds United are interested in signing Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu in this summer’s transfer window.

What’s the story?

Sport (via Sport Witness) claim that the Whites have joined the likes of Leicester and Sevilla in the race to sign Kokcu, and that they have the money required to bring him to Elland Road.

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The report adds that Sevilla are willing to spend a decent amount of money to land Kokcu, but that the La Liga side will face “tough competition” from Leeds.

Bye-bye Pablo Hernandez

Responding to a question for  The Athletic back in February, Phil Hay admitted that Pablo Hernandez’s time at Elland Road could be coming to an end soon.

He said: “It was quite telling that Castellon had a nibble at Hernandez in January. They obviously think there’s a good chance of tempting him back (and they would know, given that Hernandez is a co-owner there). If he doesn’t play much, I think this story will probably come back around in the summer. I doubt he’ll want to lose the last years of his career barely playing.”

And with the situation barely having changed since then – he’s played just 332 minutes of Premier League football all season – Leeds could wave goodbye to Hernandez, and that will open the door for someone to step into those shoes: step forward, Kokcu.

In a profile piece by The Evening Standard, they wrote: “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.

“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.”

As suggested, Kokcu could be deployed further forward as a number ten, and has shown impressive form with Feyenoord this season, ranking second for key passes per game (1.6), and fourth for shots (1.9) among his teammates.

Speaking to Goal, former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam raved about Kokcu’s quality, saying: “He has the ability. He is a player who has the personality to want to improve, he always wants to do better. He’s never happy with himself, he’s disappointed if he doesn’t score, or his passes aren’t good enough.

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“He’s certainly got the ability to make that step to the Premier League. He has creativity, scoring ability, stamina and running ability. He keeps on going. I saw him as a very promising player.”

Kokcu evidently has the “creativity” and ability to be a major threat in the final third of the pitch, and if Hernandez does depart, then the 20-year-old starlet could help kick-start a new era at Elland Road.

Victor Orta could land a shrewd signing in the Turkish gem.

Meanwhile, Bielsa should unleash this Leeds starlet next season…

Article title: Leeds can find Pablo Hernandez replacement in Feyenoord’s Orkun Kokcu

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