Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Leeds keeping close tabs on dependable midfield talent in battle with duo

Samuel Bannister
Orkun Kokcu celebrating for Feyenoord

Leeds United are one of three sides watching Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu, according to one reporter in the Netherlands.

Kokcu was linked with Leeds earlier this year, when they wanted to sign a new midfielder. Ultimately, no player of that position arrived (at least for the senior side) in the summer. It remains somewhere they could look to strengthen in January.

Leeds have not started their second season back in the Premier League well. They are one place above the relegation zone after winning just two of their opening 13 games in the competition.

There is still plenty of time for them to steer clear of the drop zone but they may need more players to help. With that in mind, there will be much intrigue ahead of their January transfer activity.

According to Voetbal International reporter Freek Jansen, Leeds are in a three-horse race for Kokcu, who is continuing to impress for Feyenoord.

He has started all their Eredivisie games so far this season. Across all competitions, he has 24 appearances, two goals and three assists.

Feyenoord are faring well this season thanks in part to his contributions. They currently sit third in the league and have already advanced to the next stage of the Europa Conference League, in which Kokcu has also featured heavily.

Orkun Kokcu AZ Alkmaar v Feyenoord February 2021

The Turkey international has spent his entire senior career with the Dutch side. They still have him under contract until 2025, but could lose him sooner.

Jansen has revealed that Leeds are looking at the 20-year-old as a potential solution in midfield. They face competition, though, from Serie A side Roma and La Liga outfit Sevilla.

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Both European sides are trying to strengthen their midfields and each have European football on offer. Roma are in the Conference League knockout stages like Feyenoord, while Sevilla’s fate in the Champions League still hangs in the balance ahead of their final group match.

It is not clear how much Feyenoord are looking for in order to sell Kokcu. But they may be bracing themselves for offers coming from a number of directions.

Leeds would have to be convincing in their pitch to Kokcu but remain hopeful of luring him after they considered doing so in the summer.


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One factor that could alleviate the pressure on Leeds to sign a new midfielder is the return of Adam Forshaw.

Leeds have had to be patient with his reintegration after a lengthy injury layoff. However, he is starting to get back among the action.

The 30-year-old has made eight appearances across all competitions so far this season. He has already matched his tallies in that regard from the past two seasons put together.

With that in mind, he can be an extra option for Marcelo Bielsa, either to see Leeds through until they can bring someone else in or as a genuine option until the end of the season, when his contract is due to expire.

Someone who thinks he can be an added value is former Whites forward Jermaine Beckford. Speaking on Saturday, he said: “He’s been like a brand new player.

“So much energy, so much hunger. But I like that when Adam came in it was like there was nothing to worry about, nothing was missing.

“His passing ability, his movement, he breaks up play really well, he links up the game really well.

“Brilliant, brilliant football player.”

That said, it still may be beneficial for Leeds to look at the transfer market to ensure they have enough to call upon in midfield going forward. Kokcu would be a promising addition if they were able to pull off his signing.

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