HomeFeatured ArticlesReport: Liverpool Set Sights on First Target Under New Coach

Report: Liverpool Set Sights on First Target Under New Coach

Liverpool’s New Era: Arne Slot Eyes Reunion with Orkun Kokcu

Liverpool’s footballing landscape is on the brink of significant transformation as newly appointed head coach Arne Slot prepares to take the reins. Slot’s arrival heralds a fresh chapter for the club, and transfer speculation is already swirling. A key name in the mix is Orkun Kokcu, Slot’s former captain at Feyenoord, now plying his trade in the Primeira Liga with Benfica. As reported by GiveMeSport.

Orkun Kokcu: A Rising Star

Orkun Kokcu, born in the Netherlands but representing Turkey internationally, has had an impressive career trajectory. A product of the FC Groningen academy, Kokcu moved to Feyenoord in 2014, making his senior debut in 2018 at just 17. His time at Feyenoord was marked by over 170 appearances and a stint as captain, showcasing his leadership and talent.


Last summer, Kokcu transferred to Benfica for €25 million. However, his time in Portugal hasn’t gone as smoothly as anticipated. Despite decent performances and helping Benfica to a second-place finish in the league, the move hasn’t fully panned out, leading to speculation about his future.

Slot’s Vision: Kokcu as a Key Signing

According to the Turkish outlet Fotospor, Slot is eager to reunite with Kokcu in Anfield. The report highlights that Kokcu is the first player Slot wants to bring to Liverpool, underlining his importance in Slot’s tactical plans. Slot’s previous experience with Kokcu at Feyenoord, where the midfielder played a pivotal role, makes this potential reunion a strategic move.

Photo: IMAGO

Dutch journalist Marcel Van der Kraan noted that Kokcu’s playing style has drawn comparisons to Phil Foden. His technical ability, vision, and leadership on the field would be valuable assets for Liverpool, especially in a transition period under new management.

Navigating Transfer Challenges

Securing Kokcu’s transfer, however, presents challenges. The midfielder is under contract with Benfica until 2028, and there is speculation about a significant release clause, reportedly around £128 million. While Fotospor has not confirmed the fee required, such a high clause could complicate negotiations.

Liverpool’s interest is not isolated. Besiktas have shown keen interest in Kokcu, and there were rumours of Manchester United’s interest before his move to Benfica. This competitive environment means Liverpool must act decisively and strategically to secure his signature.

Strategic Recruitment: A Look at Liverpool’s Approach

Liverpool’s recruitment strategy under Slot will be crucial in shaping the club’s future. The potential acquisition of Kokcu aligns with Liverpool’s recent trend of tapping into the Portuguese market, having previously signed Luis Diaz from Porto and Darwin Nunez from Benfica.

Photo: IMAGO

Slot’s familiarity with Kokcu could facilitate a smoother integration into the team, leveraging their established rapport and understanding of each other’s expectations. This move could also signify Slot’s broader vision for Liverpool, focusing on building a cohesive unit with players who can adapt to his tactical philosophy.

Conclusion: A New Dawn at Anfield

As Arne Slot embarks on his journey with Liverpool, the club’s transfer activities will be under intense scrutiny. The potential signing of Orkun Kokcu symbolizes more than just adding talent; it represents a strategic alignment with Slot’s vision and the beginning of a new era for Liverpool. While challenges remain, the pursuit of Kokcu reflects Liverpool’s ambition and commitment to building a team capable of competing at the highest levels.

In the coming weeks, fans and analysts alike will be keenly watching how these developments unfold, hoping that Liverpool’s new chapter under Slot will be marked by success and rejuvenation.

Statistical Analysis by EPL Index: Orkun Kokcu Performance Data

Impressive Offensive Contributions

Orkun Kokcu’s performance data over the last 365 days, as illustrated by the chart from Fbref, highlights his exceptional offensive contributions. With 1876 minutes played, Kokcu ranks in the upper echelons among midfielders for several attacking metrics. His non-penalty expected goals (npxG) and expected assists (xAG) are both in the 98th percentile, which underscores his ability to consistently create high-quality scoring opportunities. Additionally, Kokcu’s shot-creating actions and assists are in the 98th and 99th percentiles, further cementing his status as a key offensive playmaker.

Dominance in Possession

Kokcu’s proficiency with the ball is evident in his possession stats. He ranks in the 96th percentile for passes attempted and the 99th percentile for progressive passes, indicating his pivotal role in advancing play and maintaining possession for his team. His progressive carries, at the 93rd percentile, and touches in the attacking penalty area, at the 83rd percentile, showcase his ability to drive forward and make significant inroads into opposition territory. Despite his high involvement, Kokcu maintains a respectable pass completion rate of 53%, reflecting his willingness to attempt ambitious passes that can break defensive lines.

Defensive Metrics and Areas for Improvement

While Kokcu excels offensively and in possession, his defensive metrics indicate room for improvement. His percentile ranks for blocks (3rd), tackles (37th), and interceptions (6th) suggest that his defensive contributions are less pronounced. This discrepancy highlights a potential area for development if he is to become a more rounded midfielder. Despite this, his aerial duels and clearances still provide some defensive utility.

Overall, Orkun Kokcu’s performance data, sourced from Fbref, paints the picture of a highly effective attacking midfielder with significant strengths in creating and progressing play. His offensive prowess and ball-handling skills make him a valuable asset, though further development in defensive aspects could enhance his all-around game.

More News


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here