Liverpool agree on a deal with FC Schalke for the signing of defender Ozan Kabak on transfer deadline day. The Reds were signed the Turkey international on loan for the remainder of the season, with an option to buy him in the summer from Bundesliga club.
Who is Ozan Kabak?
A product of the Galatasaray academy, Ozan Kabak, 20, made his professional debut for the club in 2018. After impressing in the first half of his breakthrough season with Galatasaray, VFB Stuttgart came calling for his services in January 2019 and snapped him up.
Following Stuttgart’s relegation from the Bundesliga at the end of 2018/19 campaign, Schalke activated a release clause in Kabak’s contract in June 2019 and the defender has since been a regular performer at the VELTINS-Arena.
The 20-year-old made 28 appearances across all competitions last season, scoring three goals. This campaign, however, hasn’t been great so far with the Turkish defender already sent off once in the league and Schalke rooted at the bottom of the table with just eight points after 19 games.
Liverpool desperate for defensive reinforcements
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been left reeling after seeing a host of first-team stars get injured in recent weeks, particularly with his defence in tatters. Joel Matip was substituted at half-time against Tottenham last week after the defender injured his ankle ligaments. The Cameroonian has now joined long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the sidelines.
Klopp has used Fabinho as a stand-in defender in recent months, but the Brazilian has missed Liverpool’s back-to-back victories over Tottenham and West Ham respectively with a muscle problem. Liverpool’s defensive crisis has seen the German tactician ask youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams to fill in.
The Merseyside club have eased their defensive problems by agreeing on a deal with Preston North End for centre-back Ben Davies. The 25-year-old has just six months left on his contract at Preston and while the likes of Bournemouth, Burnley and Sheffield United were interested in signing him, Liverpool are set to sign Davies on a cut-price deal this month.
Nevertheless, Liverpool do need more defenders in their ranks as Klopp is without a single recognised centre-back in his side. The reigning Premier League champions have already lost three games this season and cannot afford to drop more points if they are to stay in the title mix. Thus, Klopp certainly can do with another centre-half after the potential arrival of Ben Davies.
Ozan Kabak’s addition could help Liverpool to a great deal
Kabak definitely fits the bill of what the Reds are looking out for. The Turkish defender may have endured a poor season with Schalke but there’s potential in the player and Klopp could be the right manager to unlock it. At the tender age of 20, he has already earned seven caps for his national team as well as has a decent amount of experience playing in the Super Lig and Bundesliga.
That is enough to indicate that there’s certainly something special about Kabak. All in all, the Turkish international would be yet another exciting addition to the existing pool of flourishing young talents at Anfield.