Why Ozan Kabak could be a fantastic signing for Liverpool
Liverpool may have pulled off the signing of the January transfer window in the dying moments of Monday night, when they signed Schalke defender Ozan Kabak.
Initially joining on loan, the club also have an option to sign the Turkish defender on a permanent deal for a fee of around £18 million, according to The Athletic.
At just 20 years of age, Kabak arrives at the Premier League side with bags of potential and as a genuine long-term option for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
But how good is Kabak now and will he prove to be a success at Anfield?
A no-nonsense defender to partner Van Dijk
With the recent news of Joel Matip being out with an ankle injury till the end of the season, it now looks certain that Kabak will be rushed into Liverpool’s starting XI at the club’s earliest convenience.
Fortunately for Liverpool fans, this may actually work in their team’s favour. At the moment Klopp has resorted to partnering midfielders like Fabinho or Jordan Henderson alongside Matip or a back-up central defender and in Kabak the midfielder of choice should find a traditional, hardened defender that could partner their more technical game quite well.
While Kabak is by no means a slouch with the ball at his feet, the primary talents on show at both Stuttgart and then Schalke came from a more traditional school of defending. The young talent is an excellent reader of the game and thrives in doing the basics well.
This, in time, may allow Kabak to develop into a useful long-term partner to the more technically gifted Virgil van Dijk at the centre of Liverpool’s defence. One stepping out defence to begin plays, the other covering in a more traditional role.
However, there’s no doubt that the defender is used to playing in defences that are used to sitting far deeper and worrying about more attacks per game, so Kabak will have to prove that he can defend on the half-way line like Liverpool’s current crop of central defenders. But if he can do that then Klopp’s side may have a very promising player on their hands.