Arsenal have reportedly identified Feyenoord youngster Orkan Kokcu as a potential long-term replacement for Mesut Ozil in the playmaker role at the Emirates.
Ozil has continued to struggle this season despite boss Mikel Arteta giving him a bigger role since he was appointed in December, as the 31-year-old has managed just one goal and three assists in 23 appearances.
He did start to hit some form prior to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, and so it remains to be seen if he can pick that back up when the season restarts later this month.
Nevertheless, as he prepares to turn 32 later this year and with his current contract set to expire in 2021, question marks are perhaps now being raised over his future with Arsenal.
As reported by the Express, Arsenal have set their sights on Kokcu to fill that void when the German playmaker eventually leaves, while it’s suggested that he could have a £23m price-tag.
Further, it’s noted that much will depend on the club’s end to the current season as to whether they swoop for Kokcu this summer or next, as they continue to focus on, and battle for, a place in the Champions League next year.
Should they fail to qualify for Europe, that could put any move on hold until next summer, but it appears as though he’s done enough to emerge as a serious target for the Gunners.
The 19-year-old enjoyed an impressive season this year prior to the Eredivisie campaign being ended early, as he bagged three goals and six assists in 35 games in an attacking midfield role, while it’s suggested in the report above that he’s versatile enough to play in a deeper role too.
He has two caps at U21 level for Turkey, and the mere suggestion that Arsenal have identified him as an option to take up such an important role arguably says a lot about his potential and future in itself.
Time will tell if Ozil moves on firstly, but it appears as though Arsenal could be ready for that outcome or are at least taking steps to ensure that they will be.