Liverpool set to move for title-winning captain, who has caused controversy this season: Report
Liverpool are set to bolster their aging & out of focus midfield with the potential transfer of 22-year-old Feyenoord Captain Orkun Kokcu.
The Reds played their penultimate game of the season last Saturday and drew 1-1 against Aston Villa in which Roberto Firmino scored his last goal for the Merseyside giants in his farewell match.
After the match players like James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita along with Firmino bid goodbye to the fans and the club. With players leaving, the club is eyeing for the best talents all across Europe to solidify their midfield.
Orkun Kokcu on radar of Liverpool this summer
For the last few seasons, Liverpool’s midfield has evidently been the weakest among all the departments. The pursuit of Jude Bellingham is a lost cause at the moment and the club is closer to signing Brighton no. 10 Alexis Mac Allister. Along with this signing, Orkun Kokcu‘s addition to this midfield can maximize the potential of the team.
The 22-year-old Turkish international is a box-to-box central midfielder with good passing and ball-control and defensive abilities. This season, he led the Eredivisie giants Feyenoord to their first title since 2017. The No. 10 has been an indispensable part of the team, providing 12 assists and 5 goals in 45 appearances. Orkun Kokcu is valued at €30M by Transfermarkt.
The Controversy Regarding Rainbow Armband
Earlier this season, Orkun Kokcu refused to wear the rainbow captain’s armband in favour of LGBTQ+ inclusion. While talking to ESPN about his decision to refuse the gesture, he commented,
“I think it’s important to emphasise that I respect everyone regardless of religion, background or preference. I believe that everyone is free to do what they want or feel.”
“I can imagine some people are disappointed with this. That is absolutely not my intention, although I realise that I may not immediately be able to take away that feeling with these words. But I hope that my choice for religious reasons will also be respected.”
On the other hand, Liverpool as a club and every player and coaching staff have taken an active commitment to inclusion. In the past, manager Jurgen Klopp and skipper Jordan Henderson have been praised for their allyship with the LGBTQ+ community.
The Turkish midfielder has also been shortlisted by Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs as a target. Thus, it will be interesting to see which of these PL clubs could get the deal over the line.