Arne Slot reunion at Liverpool will cause issues for three Anfield stars

Orkun Kokcu has reportedly caught the eye of Liverpool ahead of a reported Arne Slot reunion (Image: Getty)

Liverpool’s reported pursuit for Orkun Kokcu may cause issues for three young Reds talents. According to reports in the Turkish media, incoming head coach Arne Slot is keen on a reunion with his former Feyenoord captain.

Kokcu played under Slot in the Eredivisie before moving to Benfica last summer. The Turkey international, who is claimed to have a £128m release clause, is reported to have been identified as a possible midfield addition at Anfield this summer.

Another midfield signing – a year after the position received a major overhaul at Liverpool – might come as bad news to the likes of Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Stefan Bajcetic, though. The trio would have been hoping for more game time under Slot having failed to feature prominently under Jurgen Klopp.

Elliott had just started to become a more trusted member of Klopp’s squad just before the German departed after the final game of the season. After the 21-year-old struck a stunning goal in Liverpool’s 4-2 victory over Tottenham in April, Klopp said not using him more was one of his regrets.

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Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones may suffer due to Liverpool’s potential signing of Orkun Kokcu (Image: Getty)

“It’s not that I go back and think ‘OK, what did we all do wrong?’. But if I regret one thing a little bit it’s that Harvey didn’t play often enough maybe,” Klopp said.

“Because in a very important, intense period – January, a lot of injuries – he played really good. He was probably our best player, right wing, right midfield, all these kinds of things.

“Everybody came back and he had minutes here, minutes there and he didn’t start anymore, came on, big impact. But it’s really nice that he could show that [against Tottenham].”

Elliott played in a career-best 34 Premier League games last season, although only 11 were starts, and might have been hoping to build on that momentum under Slot. So too may have Jones, the Liverpool academy product who has threatened to break into the regular starting 11 for several years – only to find more senior figures often picked ahead of him.

Jones played 23 times in the top-flight in 2023-24. The 23-year-old’s form was sufficient enough for him to be included in England’s provisional squad for Euro 2024.

Bajcetic spent most of last season injured but will hope to rekindle the form that saw him become a highly-rated prospect in the previous campaign. The 19-year-old defensive midfielder will want to impress Slot during pre-season.

But those three Liverpool stars may struggle to win regular minutes with another new midfield addition.