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Orkun Kokcu has been warned he may have made a mistake joining Benfica with Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur two Premier league clubs who may have been ideal destinations.

After becoming the first Feyenoord captain to lift the Eredivisie trophy since Dirk Kuyt back in 2017, Orkun Kokcu opted against ‘doing an Arne Slot’ in committing his immediate future to life at De Kuip.

The Dutch-born Turkey international joined Benfica in a deal £25 million deal over the weekend.

The Dutch-born Turkey international joined Benfica in a deal £25 million deal over the weekend.

But while a spell in Lisbon did not do the likes of Enzo Fernandez or Darwin Nunez much harm – the former Benfica duo moving to England for combined fees of nearly £200 million – former Netherlands forward Wim Kieft wonders if Kokcu could have cut out the middle man by moving immediately to the Premier League.

(Benfica) are big club. But in a competition that can be compared to the level of the Eredivisie,” Kieft tells De Telegraaf. “So, is Kokcu really going to get better in Lisbon?

The top Portuguese clubs often succeed in selling their best players to top European clubs. However, when you hear that there is English interest and names like Manchester United and Liverpool are mentioned, you wonder; should you choose Benfica at this stage of the transfer window?”

Orkun Kokcu leaves Feyenoord for Benfica
According to Rotterdam-based publication 1908, Man United scouted Kokcu in the spring. It’s likely, however, that the 22-year-old was seen at Old Trafford as a back-up to Erik ten Hag’s top targets; Mason Mount and Declan Rice among them.

United, however, were not the only English-based club mentioned. And Kieft, who won six Eredivisie titles during his time at Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, believes a move to Aston Villa or Tottenham – especially one now under the stewardship of Ange Postecoglou – would have been ideal for a man who blossomed from a number ten into a deep-lying playmaker under Arne Slot.

“If you are not confident that you will immediately become a regular starter player (at a United or a Liverpool), you can also go to a ‘sub-top’ team in the Premier League,” Kieft adds.

“And then later make it to the top via Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton and Hove Albion or Aston Villa.”


Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham Hotspur and Unai Emery’s Aston Villa have been linked with Nicolo Zaniolo.

Zaniolo joined Galatasaray from AS Roma only in the middle of the season, but Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa are already dreaming of signing the attacking midfielder, according to TuttoJuve,

The Italian news outlet has claimed that Juventus and AC Milan are also keen on securing the services of the 23-year-old Italy international attacking midfielder.

Tottenham were strongly linked with Zaniolo in the January transfer window, but a move did not happen and he switched to Galatasaray in February 2023.

Could Tottenham Hotspur or Aston Villa sign Nicolo Zaniolo?

In our opinion, Tottenham Hotspur or Aston Villa could find it hard to sign Nicolo Zaniolo from Galatasaray in the summer transfer window.

First of all, Zaniolo himself may not been too keen on leaving the Turkish Super Lig after only a few months.

After all, the 23-year-old – described as “extraordinary” by AS Roma head coach Jose Mourinho on the club’s YouTube channel in August 2022 – moved to Galatasaray only in February 2023.

Zaniolo made two starts and eight substitute appearances in the Turkish Super Lig, scoring five goals in the process.

Moreover, Galatasaray themselves may not be willing to sell the youngster now so soon after signing him from Roma.

And even if the Turkish giants decide to cash in on Zaniolo in the summer transfer window, they could ask for a lot of money.

Then there is the competition for Tottenham and Villa from Italian giants Milan and Juventus.

Juventus are one of Italy’s biggest clubs, while Milan will aim to win the Serie A title next season and are massive as well.

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