Tottenham Hotspur are interested in Orkun Kokcu, according to emerging reports…
La Repubblica (via Sport Witness) claim Spurs could battle their north London arch-rivals Arsenal and teams from Italy to sign the Feyenoord midfielder.
It’s suggested that the Eredivisie outfit are open to a sale and value the 20-year-old at around €12m (£10m).
Despite Kokcu being under contract until 2025, there are thoughts that the Turkish international will leave the Dutch side this summer.
The Netherlands has long been a breeding ground for some of Europe’s best talents, such as the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, who have gone onto thrive at Juventus and Barcelona, respectively. Whilst the Premier League and Spurs, in particular, have experienced it first-hand.
One fine example is Christian Eriksen, who signed from Ajax and became one of the best attacking midfielders the club has seen, providing 69 goals and 90 assists across 305 appearances, via Transfermarkt.
His departure 18 months ago is still being felt today, as neither of Tanguy Ndombele or Giovani Lo Celso – Spurs’ pair of £55m signings – have stepped up to the plate, at least in terms of creativity and goal contributions.
The Frenchman has elevated his game this term, for sure, but has still only directly accounted for 16 goals in 72 appearances (one goal every 4.5 games), whilst the Argentine’s 11 contributions in 62 matches (one goal every 8.8 games) is far from inspiring.
Neither are close to Eriksen’s level. He was such a crucial influence in providing a goal or assist every 1.9 games.
On the face of it, Kokcu doesn’t seem like the solution, given he’s only made two goals and one assist this campaign but it’s the diversity in his skill set that could suggest he’s a far more suitable option for Spurs right now.
Even more so if Daniel Levy manages to clinch Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who has quickly risen up his shortlist to replace Jose Mourinho following a double blow over Julian Naglesmann and Brendan Rodgers.
The 51-year-old has a proven track record in developing young talent in the Eredivisie, with both the aforementioned Dutch stars a product of his stewardship.
Kokcu’s distribution is very impressive, averaging over an 83% passing accuracy despite managing 1.8 long balls, proving he has the capability to pull the strings in the middle and dictate play, as per WhoScored.
Speaking to Goal, Jaap Stam backed the 20-year-old’s potential for the Premier League.
“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,” explained the former Man Utd colossus.
“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.”
His average of 2.2 shots and 1.5 key passes in the Eredivisie this term would suggest that he’s also been rather unlucky to not have added further numbers to his poor-looking returns.
If Levy manages to clinch ten Hag, then he should absolutely also try to raid Kokcu from the Dutch top-flight, too. Spurs could well replace Mourinho and finally Eriksen in one summer.
AND in other news, How Spurs could line-up under managerial target Erik ten Hag…