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Derby County allowing Phillip Cocu to reunite with this €1.4m star would be a wise move

Fenerbahce's Ferdi Kadioglu has been linked with a move to Derby County

Why Ferdi Kadioglu could be a good long-term prospect for Derby County

According to claims from Turkish source Fotospor, as cited by Derbyshire Live, Derby County have been linked with a move for Fenerbahce starlet Ferdi Kadioglu, with Rams boss Phillip Cocu targeting a reunion with his former Fenerbahce player in January.

Cocu, who was sacked midway through the 2018-19 season during an ill-fated managerial stint at Fenerbahce, signed the then 18-year-old creative midfielder from Nijmegen for a fee of around 1.4million on a four-year contract. 

As per the report, the Dutchman was instrumental in Kadioglu’s move to Fenerbahce back in the summer of 2018 and he is keen to reunite with the highly-rated starlet at Pride Park during the mid-season trading period. 

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Ferdi Kadioglu has registered 2 goals and 1 assist in 6 substitute appearances for Fenerbahce in the Turkish league this season (Getty Images)

Cocu has further gone on to add that the Rams could try to bring Kadioglu to the club on an initial loan deal in January with an option to make the move permanent in the summer of 2020. (h/t Derbyshire Live)

Kadioglu is yet to start a single game for Fenerbahce in the Turkish league so far this term but he has impressed with 2 goals and an assist across 6 substitute appearances.

Profiled as a right-footed creative No.10 with the versatility to play out wide on either flank, the 20-year-old is widely regarded as a player with loads of potential. 

Born in Arnhem, The Netherlands, to a Turkish father and a Canadian-born Dutch mother, Kadioglu rose through the youth ranks of Nijmegen and made his mark in the Dutch Eredivisie before completing a move to Fenerbahce in 2018. 

The highly-rated starlet has represented Holland at all youth levels from U16 up to U21, accumulating a total of 42 caps in the process. However, he still remains eligible to represent Turkey and Canada at the senior international level. 

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Kadioglu rose through the youth ranks of Dutch club Nijmegen before earning a move to Fenerbahce in 2018 (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Derby County certainly need to make a few changes to their squad during the mid-season trading period in January following a lacklustre start to their campaign in the Championship. 

The Rams currently languish 16th in the standings and it will require a herculean effort from Cocu’s men to propel themselves back into the promotion mix during the second half of the campaign.

The availability of former England captain Wayne Rooney as a player-coach would hand a massive boost to the club’s rather mediocre-looking strike force but Cocu must address the lack of creativity.

To that end, the Rams links with Ferdi Kadioglu certainly make a lot of sense on paper and it remains to be seen whether they look for a loan deal or an outright transfer.

Cocu has struggled to find a settled playing eleven even with almost half the season already done and dusted, with the No.10 slot behind the striker among several positions on the pitch that continues to pose a dilemma to the Dutchman.  

Ferdi Kadioglu of Holland U21
Kadioglu has already made his mark for The Netherlands at the U-21 level (Getty Images)

Bristol City loanee Jamie Paterson, Tom Lawrence, Duane Holmes and Everton loanee Kieran Dowell have all been tried out by Cocu in that central creative role but none of them has been able to make any significant impact. 

Kadioglu is hardly a finished article just yet but he has already racked up some impressive numbers, despite not starting a league fixture for Fenerbahce this season.

As per whoscored, the youngster has averaged an impressive 2.6 key passes per 90 minutes, which is a clear reflection of the kind of creativity he possesses.

Realistically, Derby County should not expect Ferdi Kadioglu to come through the door in January with a view to making an immediate impact, given that any young player would require time to acclimatize to a new league.

Ferdi Kadioglu of Holland U21 , Reece James of England U21
Credits: Getty Images

Hence, they would be better off looking at him as a long-term prospect who could possibly evolve into a star at Pride Park in the years to come.

Verdict

Krystian Bielik was roped in from Arsenal this past summer as a part of Cocu’s project and the manager’s past working relationship with Kadioglu could make it easier for the youngster to settle down in his new surroundings.

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Having said that, the Rams must firm up their interest in Ferdi Kadioglu, who appears to have what it takes to make a big impression. 

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