Liverpool: Ozan Kabak in profile
Liverpool’s new signing Ozan Kabak has been likened to former Reds defenders Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan following his arrival at Anfield. Kabak joined Liverpool on loan from Schalke on transfer deadline day. The Reds have the option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season for a fee of £18million.
Kabak, 20, has been part of a Schalke side that sits bottom of the Bundesliga having won just one league game so far this season.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was given a glowing reference of the Turkey international by friend and former Schalke manager David Wagner.
But Arsenal’s former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat also spoke to Klopp about the defender.
Mislintat is the sporting director of Stuttgart, the club Kabak was at before Schalke.
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And the Swede compared Kabak to ex-Liverpool star Lovren.
“I told Jurgen that he’s a top lad,” Mislintat told The Athletic.
“Top mentality, top character, top aggression. He’s a Lovren-type player. Very good in the air, both defensively and in the opposition box.
“He played his best stuff for us [at Stuttgart]. He hasn’t been able to show how good he is at Schalke.
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“He still needs to learn but he has all the skills for Klopp to make a success of him.”
The Athletic also claim Liverpool regard Kabak as a “Ragnar Klavan-type” signing.
Those comparisons may not fill Liverpool supporters with much optimism.
Lovren was subject of regular criticism throughout his six years at Anfield before leaving last summer.
Meanwhile, Klavan made even less of an impact in his two seasons at the club between 2016 and 2018.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, Klopp explained Wagner’s recommendation of Kabak.
“Yes, Dave was already very, very positive about him,” Klopp said.
“He came very young to Germany and everybody was clear he was a massive talent.
“He is only 20 now. He plays in his second club [in Germany]; he is at Schalke and unfortunately they are in a bad position in the moment.
“For him, I think it’s a really good moment to make the move because, like each player in the world, you need a stable team around you and that’s what we can deliver.
“We deliver a stable team and you can play your position, you don’t have to be 20 with pretty much everything on the pitch and not allowed to make mistakes anymore.
“He’s really a big, big talent and we are really looking forward to working with him.”
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