Orkun Kökçü – Player Report

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Turkish & Dutch
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 29/12/2000
  • Current Club: Feyenoord
  • Career: Groningen Youth, Feyenoord Youth
  • Position: attacking midfielder
  • Secondary position: central midfielder
  • Preferred foot: right

Positioning

Orkun Kökçü operates from the left side of the pitch, often playing as a left centre-mid in a 4-3-3 formation for Feyenoord. Sometimes, he played as an attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 formation for Feyenoord. The Turkish midfielder likes to drop deep, but can also progress higher up the pitch. When Feyenoord have possession in the final third, Kökçü can be found near the edge of the box.

Screenshot of sofascore.com

Feyenoord play in a 4-3-3 formation as I mentioned above and under the reign of Advocaat, they like to play the possession game and focus on building up patiently. The role of Kökçü in this is that he needs to either drop deep to support the build-up or find space between the lines higher up the pitch to create a promising situation in which Feyenoord could create a big chance. However, in the final third he needs to be more decisive for Feyenoord as he does not create enough chances for Feyenoord in my opinion.

The Dutch midfielder, who has decided to play for the Turkish national team, is very active when Feyenoord and shows good awareness to move into space between the lines. Kökçü always checks his shoulder and manages to make the right off the ball movements after he checked his shoulder. In general, the attacking midfielder always wants to get into possession and he will try his hardest to create a passing option for his teammates.

Screenshot of fullmatchsports.co

In the image above, you can see that Toornstra has the ball and that he is put under pressure by Jorrit Smeets (Fortuna Sittard). Kökçü first looks at which movement Carbonell is going to make and after he assessed that he is not actively trying to cut the passing lane, the midfielder moves between Carbonell and Tekie and signals that he wants to receive the pass.

If you look at the image closely, you can see that Kökçü looks sideways in order to assess whether there are any Fortuna Sittard players near him. After assessing that no-one puts pressure on him, he turns away from the Fortuna Sittard and the danger is clear. This is a good example of how Kökçü is used very effectively when Feyenoord are under pressure.

The 19-year-old midfielder checks his shoulder much more often than he did in 2019 and this is where he improved the most. First, he did not check his shoulder and he often turned to the wrong side. Now, he always checks his shoulders and he chooses for the right option when he gets puts under pressure. This is in my opinion one of the most important aspects in an attacking midfielder as you can always think one step ahead when you’re aware of what is happening next and behind you.

Technical abilities

The midfielder that is born in Haarlem has shown great technical abilities. He has a good first touch, allowing him to pass his opponent in just one movement. Also, he has decent ball control in the tight spaces, which comes in handy especially when Feyenoord are put under pressure. Kökçü shows this multiple times per match.

Kökçü sometimes glides past his opponents as if they aren’t there and is able to combine his okay agility and good ball control in these situations. The 19-year-old midfielder has shown that he has a good kicking technique and he most of the times takes the corners for Feyenoord. These corners can be average, but he has had some good deliveries as well, assisting two goals in the matches that I watched.

Also, his shooting is above average. He is quite accurate with his shots, he does not score a lot of them however. Kökçü is good with both feet, his right foot is slightly stronger than his left foot. The midfielder stays composed in the final third and keeps calm whenever he gets put under pressure.

Passing

Like mentioned above, when Kökçü gets put under pressure, the 19-year-old midfielder stays calm and uses quick feints to wrong foot the defender and he can turn away from his opponents with ease. When he does this on his own half, he likes to stand still with the ball on his foot for a second to give his teammates the time to reorganize. He is not a progressive passer and likes to play it sideways to the wingers.

When he does not decide to dribble out of pressure, he likes to look up to search for options and he has a good eye for his teammates in these situations. For example, in the image down below, there are a lot of players in a very small space, but Kökçü manages to look up and sees an option to pass the ball to Fer. The pass itself was not successful, but Kökçü showed good vision in this situation.

Like already mentioned in the beginning of the player report, Kökçü either drops deep to receive the ball in his own half, or he tries to find space between the lines in the midfield or final third. In the image down below (in two alinea’s), an example of Kökçü dropping deep can be seen. This is something that he likes to do often.

Orkun Kökçü averages 16.35 passes on his own half per 90 minutes, while he completes 28.21 passes towards the opposition half per 90 minutes. It must be said that the midfielder born in Haarlem can be sloppy in possession. Especially early in the season, the young Feyenoord player struggled to be accurate in his passing.

He has improved on this in the second half of the season as he does not give that many sloppy passes anymore. Still, I would like to see him be more decisive in the final third by creating chances and trying to move into scoring position more often. Also, especially in the first half of the season he sometimes needed to improve on his handling speed. In the second half of the season, he improved on his awareness which improved his handling speed as well.

Orkun Kökçü has decent long passing, he averages 3 long balls per game and completes 76% of his long passes. Now, we will compare Orkun Kökçü to other midfielders in the Eredivisie using data visualizations. When it comes to passing accuracy to penalty are in Eredivisie, it can be seen that Kökçü scores above average.

However, Orkun Kökçü needs to be more decisive for Feyenoord in the final third and he needs to try to be more progressive in his passing. The midfielder often plays passes sideways or backwards and it sometimes seems like he does not take many risks. Compared to other attacking midfielders, he completes less passes to the penalty area than Diemers, Peña, Ihattaren and Ziyech.

If Steven Berghuis was to leave Feyenoord, there would be needed some more creativity from other players. In this case, Kökçü should step up and look to get on the ball near the edge of the box even more, just like he does in the defensive third and midfield third. Orkun Kökçü averages 2,75 passes to the penalty area and completes 63,64% of them.

What I mentioned above, can be seen in this visualization as well. Kökçü often waits on the edge of the box for a possible chance to shoot on goal or to just spread the play from a bit deeper. In the image down below, you can see that he has less touches in the box than Ihattaren, Mauro Júnior, Hakim Ziyech and Donny van de Beek (and more). As well as he can find spaces in the midfield third, he gets less in these positions in the final third. Orkun Kökçü averages only 1,85 touches in the box per 90 minutes.

Moving on to Kökçü’s progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes and it can be seen that he scores average, and even worse than Jens Toornstra regarding progressive passes. In both aspects he scores slightly above average and like I already mentioned before, his verticality and his contribution in the final third needs to be improved.

When you compare this to attacking midfielders like Mohammed Ihattaren and Hakim Ziyech, you can see that Kökçü does not score that high on progressive passes and runs. Also, players like Joey Veerman and Sergio Peña score higher in both aspects. Kökçü averages 1,5 progressive runs per 90 minutes and 7,54 progressive passes per 90 minutes.

Defensive abilities

This is the biggest improvement that Orkun Kökçü needs to make. The midfielder shows good awareness to track back in transition from attack to defence when Feyenoord could get in trouble, but when the opposition have possession he can be lazy and not cut the passing lane. In these cases, the opponent who receives the ball can receive the ball in space and does not have a direct opponent as Kökçü is too late.

The 19-year-old only winst 38% of his ground duels which is far below average and he does not score above average in other defensive aspects as well. As you can see in the image down below, only Ihattaren scores worse in the defensive aspect. Kökçü only has 5,34 successful defensive actions per 90 minutes and makes only 1,75 interceptions per 90 minutes.

Physical attributes

Moving over to his physical attributes. His agility, balance and coordination is above average. He manages to glide past his opponents at times. Kökçü has okay bursts of speed, he is definitely not the quickest in the first meters but it is alright. His speed over medium/long distances is okay as well, this could be slightly improved.

Orkun Kökçü has played 90 minutes for Feyenoord often this season and this has helped him in improving his stamina, but I feel like he is less active in moving into space in the later moments of the game. Also, his strength is mediocre and his work rate is inconsistent. Sometimes he works very hard, sometimes he seems to be too late in every duel. He loses the majority of his aerial duels as well.

The midfielder seems confident on the pitch and he most of the times seems very concentrated. He communicates well with his teammates as far as I concerned, because he let’s his teammates know when he wants to receive the pass. He seems to have decent commitment to the sport and he is not that aggressive on the pitch.

Conclusion

Orkun Kökçü is a very talented player who shows good awareness and has good off the ball movement, especially in the first and second phase of the build-up. However, he could improve his contribution in the final third and needs to be more decisive for Feyenoord. If Berghuis leaves, Feyenoord need someone to step up and Kökçü needs to be the one to step up.

The midfielder is a decent dribbler and uses his agility and ball control well to get past opponents. He looks confident on the ball and manages to play out of pressure very well. Kökçü is composed in the final third. However, he needs to be more vertical in his play and take more risks.

To conclude, I think that Orkun Kökçü definitely needs to stay at Feyenoord for another year and that he possibly could move to a bigger league in the summer of 2021.

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