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Arsenal Wing Target, Kerem Aktürkoğlu – Scouting Report exclusive

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Kerem Aktürkoglu – reported Arsenal interest

The last few days various media have picked up on a Turkish Sports outlet indicating that Arsenal have joined Middlesex neighbours Tottenham. Wolfsburg, Lyon and Atletico as major league teams tracking Galatasaray winger, Kerem Aktürkoğlu.

Aktürkoğlu has had somewhat of a breakthrough season with the Turkish giants, with 20 goal involvements, including 11 goals, three of those coming on the Europa League stage. He seems to have been affectionately nicknamed Harry Potter by the Galatasaray faithful, I assume for his boyish looks and the spectacles he wears when not playing. They would be sad to see Harry leave, but the Turkish Super Lig outfit accept that their business model requires selling 1 or 2 talents each summer.

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Kerem Potter!

Whilst the player is a predominantly right footed winger, deployed on the left, as is the modern way, he is far from afraid to use his left foot when required. A trait I am sure Arteta would admire, in a game so inexplicably devoid of genuine two-footers.

Aktürkoğlu boasts high speed and mesmeric dribbling skills, with considerable trickery in his armoury too. His passing completion percentage is not high, but then being a winger, it is so often a percentage game. He is charged with getting crosses into dangerous areas and if they are not met, statistically that is an incomplete pass, but he is simply doing his job to a high level.

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Scoring for Turkey

A rising star on the Turkish international scene, Aktürkoglu, now has 8 full caps, and three Turkey goals, since making his debut only last year. Of course, at 23, approaching his peak years, with room for improvement from high quality coaching, he fits the Arsenal target profile to a tee. The question is does he fit the team’s profile – In short, do we need a left winger, when Martinelli and Smith-Rowe are currently competing for that very position?

To answer this, I think, requires speculation into Arteta’s plans for 22/23 and the truth may lie in his public statements about playing a 433. If this is indeed the case then the target man, striker may not be the plan, and Martinelli might be deployed more centrally in a three, leaving space for a new left sided striker/winger, and Aktürkoglu may well be that option. If it is a 433, or 4123, then Smith Rowe could easily be the left sided 8, a position many see has the Croydon de Bruyne’s destiny.

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A more central role?

Even is the 4231 is retained, which has often been the go-to Arteta formation and a more natural focal centre forward to brought in, having a more natural crossing style winger would again be a sensible option. We are all aware how may crosses have simply floated across the box unmet in the past 2 seasons.

The simple fact is that Aktürkoğlu is an exciting attacking player with the type of unpredictable wing skills Arsenal only have with the inconsistent Pepe, and perhaps on-loan Nelson, so he may be a welcome addition. Particularly, as the squad is very thin and will need to be strengthened to compete on a European stage again next term.

Below is a video showing Kerem (Harry Potter) Aktürkoğlu’s MAGICAL skills and exciting contribution to Galatasaray of late:

I would love to hear from Turkish Arsenal fans for a more first-hand opinion.

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