Date published: Saturday 25th April 2020 5:13
A 19-year-old playmaker previously tipped to become one of the stars of the now postponed Euro 2020 tournament has had his prospective transfer to Arsenal green lit if their £23m valuation is met, according to a Dutch report.
The Gunners’ struggles in the 2019-20 campaign were well documented prior to football’s hiatus, with ex-boss Unai Emery losing his job as a result of their underwhelming results.
Former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta arrived in late December to breathe new life into the club, but was not afforded the wriggle room some Gunners fans would’ve hoped for in the transfer market.
Just two loan signings were secured in the winter window (Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares), as Arteta was left to wait to make his first permanent signings as manager at the Emirates.
That honour now appears likely to fall to Dutch-born Turkish playmaker Orkun Kokcu.
The 19-year-old Feyenoord star had previously been linked with a switch to North London, with the Rotterdam club’s manager Dick Advocat recently confirming Arsenal’s interest.
Despite not yet making a senior first team appearance for the Turkish national side, his impressive performances in the Eredivisie this campaign had led to the rising star being tipped to become an overnight sensation at Euro 2020.
Operating primarily as an attacking midfielder, Kokcu had been an instrumental part in Feyenoord ultimately securing a third-placed finish ahead of Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven after the Eredivise recently announced the decision to void their season.
Ajax superstar Tadic rages at Eredivisie decision
That aforementioned ruling left most in the Netherlands satisfied, but the decision not to award a league title to table-topping Ajax at the time of football’s suspension did not go down well with Dusan Tadic.
A similar ruling in England would prevent Liverpool from lifting their maiden Premier League trophy, though the league reportedly remain determined for the season to conclude naturally on the pitch.
Focusing on the fact that goal difference meant Ajax were technically leading the Eredivisie, Tadic expressed his displeasure at the perceived injustice.
“Both champions are not an option for me either, because a difference has been made,” said the former Saint (via the Metro).
“That difference is the target difference. And we have agreed that goal difference counts in case of a tie.
“Then it is very simple for me and Ajax must be declared the champion. This prize was taken from us.
“You want to become champions every year and Ajax is now also at the top,” he added.
“Even under these circumstances you have to be declared champion. I think it’s great that the competition has stopped, but the number one is the number one.
“We have agreed rules with all clubs in advance. The rules say that the goal difference counts and not the mutual result.
“If we had mutually agreed on results, AZ would be the rightful champion. I would have liked to make our supporters happy with the trophy.”