Ozan Kabak to Liverpool: Reds eyeing last minute deal

Nicholas Hughes
Nicholas Hughes Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 2 min read
Ozan Kabak to Liverpool: Reds eyeing last minute deal

Ozan Kabak is the latest centre-back linked with a move to Liverpool as the Reds look to get multiple deals over the line before the deadline.

Sky Sports are reporting that Liverpool have renewed their interest in the Schalke defender after having been linked with him in the summer.

The Reds are set to complete the signing of Ben Davies from Preston North End pending the completion of his medical, while Croatian Duje Caleta-Car has been linked but Marseille’s inability to find a replacement for him is proving to be a roadblock in the deal.

Liverpool are believed to be interested in a loan-to-buy deal for 20-year-old Kabak who has played 14 times for a Schalke side rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga with just one win all season.

Ozan Kabak 2020/21 Statistics

Passes P9049.9
Aerial duels won P904.1
Recoveries P905.8
via FootballCritic

Already capped seven times by Turkey, Kabak is a ball-playing centre back with a growing reputation across Europe and someone believed to have a great deal of potential.

Slightly shorter than Liverpool’s current options at 186cm, Kabak makes up for it with a strong leap, averaging 4.1 aerial duels won out of 5.4 attempted per 90 minutes.

On the ball he passes with a conversion rate of 88% and completes 1.2 dribbles P90, compared to Joe Gomez’s tally of 0.6 and 0.4 last season as someone who has often shown his ability to dribble out from defence.

This shows a confidence and aptitude with the ball at his feet from Kabak that would suit Jurgen Klopp’s system at Liverpool, and with strong numbers in aerial duels and a solid tackle success rate, he could be both a stop gap for the remainder of this season and a long-term project for the club.

Liverpool have needed a centre-back since Virgil van Dijk and Gomez both suffered season ending knee injuries within weeks of each other, while Joel Matip’s repeated fitness issues on top of that certainly hasn’t helped.

Fabinho, and most recently Jordan Henderson, has had to deputise at centre half and Liverpool have handed debuts to academy graduates Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams in an attempt to fill the void left by their star defenders.

Schalke are also wary of finding a replacement before selling, but given their large debt and the increasing likelihood of relegation, this deal may just have a better chance of going through.

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