Klopp responds to criticism of new Liverpool signing Ozan Kabak

James Shearman Updated: 19 May 2021 16:43 CEST 2 min read
Klopp responds to criticism of new Liverpool signing Ozan Kabak

Jurgen Klopp has backed new signing Ozan Kabak to succeed at the club after an uneasy start to the Premier League for the Turkish defender.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss labelled criticism of the player as “picky”, given the lack of continuity in Liverpool’s backline that has seen a number of different pairings used this season.

Long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, along with persistent spells on the sideline for Joel Matip, forced the Reds to sign two new defenders in the January transfer window.

However, 25-year-old Ben Davies is yet to make an appearance and has picked up a minor injury problem in recent days.

That being said, Kabak made his debut last month in a 3-1 away defeat to Leicester where he looked far from comfortable with his new teammates.

However, the former Schalke defender kept a clean sheet in a recent win over Sheffield United, alongside academy graduate Nathaniel Phillips, but still faced criticism for his performance.

“18 different centre-back partners…stability would be great,” Klopp said in his latest interview.

“I heard people were quite critical of Kabak and Phillips [in Sheffield]. That is picky! We changed it that often, we might make a habit of it.”

Liverpool fans will be hoping for an improvement in the defender’s game as they look to bounce back from a tough winter period, while awaiting the return of usual pairing van Dijk and Gomez.

Kabak is expected to play in Liverpool’s upcoming match with Chelsea which could be decisive in the race for the Champions League places.