Premier League • England

Top midfielder scouted by Arsenal for two years told why he should snub Gunners

Feyenoord playmaker Orkun Kokcu

Arsenal could be set to miss out on a summer move for midfielder Orkun Kokcu, despite the Gunners having scouted the talented Feyenoord star for two years.

Mikel Arteta’s men were first linked with the 21-year-old during the 2019-20 campaign, shortly after the Spaniard replaced Unai Emery in the Arsenal hotseat.

Since then, Kokcu has taken his game to another level, scoring his first senior goal for Turkey in November to help them book a World Cup qualifying play-off clash.

The midfielder has been a regular for his club this season and has scored three times in his last four outings.

Kokcu has previously hinted that he could move on, if Feyenoord receive a sizeable fee.

But despite being courted by a number of top clubs, including the Gunners, former Netherlands boss Marco van Basten has urged the midfielder to stay at Feyenoord for now.

“He should stay with Feyenoord for at least another year and a half,” Van Basten told Ziggo Sport (via Sport Witness). “Become stronger, hold on to your place in the starting line-up and then go abroad at some point. That’s also better for yourself.

“Otherwise, you go too young. That happens every time, and you even see it in the big boys who went to Barcelona and Real Madrid. They too have had problems with it.”

Arsenal looking at Rafael Leao from AC Milan for £50m

Arsenal are looking at Rafael Leao from AC Milan for £50m

Kokcu is currently under contract until 2025 and has already won 13 Turkey caps despite his young age.

The midfielder also plays alongside a familiar face to Arsenal fans in Reiss Nelson. The Gunners star is currently on loan at the De Kuip but is struggling to make an impact.

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Arsenal tracking Brazilian wonderkid

Meanwhile, Arsenal are ‘scouting’ Brazilian wonderkid Savio from Atletico Mineiro, and his contract status could see his future determined this summer.

Arsenal’s interest in Savio was first revealed last month. The 17-year-old operates primarily as a right winger, though is at ease on the left or playing central behind the striker. Savio has exceptional pace and great dribbling ability, hence the comparisons with Martinelli.

Fellow Brazilian Martinelli has taken great strides forward this season and has quickly established himself as a potent threat in Arsenal’s forward line.

Gabriel Martinelli, Arsenal v West Ham December 2021

What’s more, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gone and Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah free agents in the summer, Martinelli could be in line for a double promotion.

Now, ESPN (citing journalist Ekrem Konur), reaffirm the Gunners’ interest in Savio. They state Arsenal are ‘scouting’ the youngster, and the fact his contract expires in 2023 makes a summer swoop a distinct possibility.

Atletico Mineiro will not want to lose such a saleable asset for nothing. And according to Savio’s agent, the wonderkid’s future lays away from Atletico.

Arsenal named by Savio agent

Despite his blossoming talents, there is a feeling among the player’s camp that he is being overprotected. That has manifested itself in fewer appearances than Savio would’ve liked. And his agent namechecked Arsenal as a possible saviour last month.

“There are these surveys from Red Bull Bragantino and Arsenal, but nothing official. No offer has arrived for Savio,” representative Juliano Rodrigues said last month (via HITC).

Rodrigues then went on to explain how a permanent exit is the “ideal” solution.

“He needs to play to evolve. Atletico don’t play him. So the best thing would be a transfer, with Atletico getting part of the rights for a future sale.

“This way, Savio will be able to take off in his career, as he is one of the best players of his age in Brazilian football.

“Going out on loan now is not interesting. The ideal (thing) is to leave permanently.”

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