The Eredivisie is filled with talent, especially young talent. The league and the teams in it often prefer to give the opportunity to younger players to develop and express themselves and this usually leads to them being a feeder to some of the bigger clubs and leagues in Europe. A player who will likely tread this path is Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu.
Born in Haarlem in the Netherlands in late December 2000, Kokcu burst onto the Feyenoord scene at the start of the 2019/20 campaign. The 21-year-old is of Turkish and Azerbaijani descent and has an older brother Ozan who plies his trade for Giresunspor in the Turkish Super Lig. Kokcu began his football career at fellow Eredivisie side FC Groningen as part of their youth setup, before joining Feyenoord’s youth academy in 2014.
Another young Turkish footballer making a name for himself is new Ajax signing Ahmetcan Kaplan
He made his first team debut for his current employers as a 17-year-old four years later, starting in the Dutch Cup against VV Gemert, netting in the 4-0 rout back in September 2018.
©️ Honoured ❤️🤍🖤 @Feyenoord https://t.co/BkWPwCEmqg
— Orkun Kökcü (@OrkunKokcu) September 2, 2022
How good is Orkun Kokcu?
Kokcu was born in the Netherlands to Turkish parents, and joined the Feyenoord academy at the age of 14, which has also produced Georginio Wijnaldum and Stefan de Vrij. After making the bench towards the end of the 2017/18 campaign, Kokcu broke into the first-team the following season, scoring three and assisting four in 11 league games.
Orkun Kokcu continues to impress in the heart of Feyenoord’s team and has been a standout player in the Eredivisie so far this season, whilst attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs.
Previously a youth international for the Netherlands, he has represented Holland at Under-18 and Under-19 levels. But in 2019, Kokcu announced his intention to play for the Turkish national team, having turned out twice at Under-21 level. Since then, he has made 13 appearances at senior level becoming a regular in the side under head coach Stefan Kuntz.
Orkun Kokcu stats
In terms of passing, Kokcu averages an 86% completion rate – this increases to 91% for passes in his own half. Kokcu also averages a very impressive 6.56 progressive passes per 90, this is in the top 9% for midfielders in Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues, whilst his 1.95 passes into the penalty area per 90 is in the top 3%.
As well as a strong passing ability, Kokcu is able to convert this into chances for the Feyenoord attackers. Kokcu averages 2.83 shot-creating actions per 90, in the top 14% of European midfielders. Whilst defensive contributions aren’t a big part of Kokcu’s game, his tackles and pressures in the final third specifically remain very solid. He averages 0.53 tackles in the final third per 90, in the top 5%, and 4.78 pressures in the final third per 90, in the top 8%.
Kokcu is also very comfortable when receiving the ball – competent with both feet and cool and composed in attacking areas. His average of 3.54 touches in the opponent penalty box per 90 is in the top 3%. Kokcu also averages 2.30 carries into the final third per 90 – this ranks in the top 11%.
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Orkun Kokcu scout report
Kokcu primarily played as a conventional central midfielder, as well as featuring in an attacking ‘Number 10’ role, and also on the left. He continued his upward trajectory into the 2019/20 campaign. Kokcu quickly became a crucial member of the Feyenoord squad at the age of 18, only missing three league games, and playing the full 90 in 13 of 26 league games. In April 2019, he extended his contract until 2023 – this was extended again in June last year until 2025.
After experimenting in an advanced midfield role and out on the left in previous seasons, Kokcu established himself last season as a traditional ‘box-to-box’ player. Under previous coach Dick Advocaat, Feyenoord lined up with a 4-3-3 in the vast majority of league games.
The ability to play different types of passes makes Kokcu highly effective, as he can contribute in different situations of play. It also allows him to play different roles within the build-up, with the option to sit deeper and orchestrate the attack or get further forward and between the lines or do a combination of both as he does currently for Feyenoord.
Kokcu can effectively be viewed as a ‘complete midfielder’ – proficient in a number of different aspects of the game. His work-rate and energy has been compared to Youri Tielemans, whilst his high levels of technicality has drawn comparisons to David Silva. Kokcu style of play can be analysed in four different aspects – passing, goal and shot creation, defence, and in possession.
Orkun Kokcu transfer news
The Turkish star was a target for the Gunners back in 2020 with technical director Edu keen to tie up a deal before Euro 2020, but a move failed to materialise. The Gunners have started the 2022/23 in brilliant fashion and are in the middle of a rebuilding process and they are still looking for reinforcements in the middle of the pitch to join Thomas Partey. Kokcu could be the ideal man to come in, young, talented, with room for progression.
Arsenal are running the rule over him, but given how highly-rated they are to get their hands on one of Europe’s most impressive young midfielders. Leeds United and Chelsea have also previously expressed their interest, and a move to Spain has also been mooted. Given the progress Kokcu has achieved, it won’t take much time for one of the European elites to snap him up.