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Liverpool linked with Turkish defender, a good deal?

New Delhi, July 28: The Premier League season has finally come to an end and it will be forever remembered for a number of reasons and probably the biggest one of them would be how dominantly Liverpool have finally ended their 30-year drought for the league title.

Jurgen Klopp's side have truly been incredible this campaign and the fact that they have managed 99 points at the end of the season is the biggest testament of how ruthless they have been throughout the course of the season.

Their form saw a dip after the restart following the lockdown and especially after the League title was wrapped up but the fans won't mind that as what matters most is the biggest silverware in English football that has been out of their reach since 1990.

Just as the season ended, Liverpool have already lost two of their most experienced players in the form of Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana with both seeking pastures in search of regular playing time at the dusk of their respective careers. And, it is likely that more number of players will be following them soon during the summer with the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi, Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic all being tipped for exits.

Therefore, it will be a monumental task for Jurgen Klopp to improve his squad in terms of both depth and quality even though it is claimed that he does not have many funds available at his disposal and even had to miss out on his primary target Timo Werner.

With Dejan Lovren having already left Anfield for Russian giants Zenit Saint Petersburg, a new central defender should be among Klopp's priority for the summer and we have already seen the rumour mill linking the Reds with a host of defenders across the continent.

Despite the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and Diego Carlos been linked with a switch to Anfield, such big signings look pretty unlikely simply because of the fee they are likely to command. If Liverpool adds a new centre-back to their books this summer, chances are high that it will be a player who is not yet a household name in European football, a player with a lot of potential but not yet world-class which is an art Liverpool have mastered under Jurgen Klopp and Michael Edwards.

If reports in Germany are to be believed, Liverpool have registered their interest in young Schalke defender Ozan Kabak and by the looks of it, the rumour sounds more than credible. Schalke are right now managed by David Wagner who is a close friend of Jurgen Klopp from his days at Borussia Dortmund as the manager of the reserves team.

Wagner's footballing ideology has a lot in common to that of Jurgen Klopp and that is why it will be an easier transition for Kabak from Schalke to Liverpool.

Just 20 years of age, Kabak is one of the best talents in Bundesliga right now and was only signed by Schalke last summer from VfB Stuttgart for a fee believed to be around £14m. His first season at the Veltins-Arena has been pretty decent even though Schalke have had their struggles for the majority of the season.

The Royal Blues could only manage a 12th place finish and are in a position where they need to cash in on some of their top players in order to balance the book and the Turkish international is one of their most marketable players valued at £32 million.

Kabak is a player who is still at the early phase of his development and would undoubtedly improve if he moves to Liverpool where he would be coached by one of the best managers in the world Jurgen Klopp.

The German has outgrown almost every manager in the world in terms of developing talents and Kabak would certainly benefit from his guidance. Also, it is worth noting that Liverpool currently boast the best centre-back in world football Virgil van Dijk who also happens to the footballing idol of the Turkish defender and he would also get the chance to learn from his idol.

A ball-playing defender with plenty of physical presence and someone who already has played in a similar kind of system, Kabak could prove to be a perfect replacement of Lovren at Liverpool and in years to come, he could become the heart of the Reds' defence. However, we have to wait and see whether Liverpool spend a figure around £32 million for a player who would be the fourth choice behind the trio of van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

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Story first published: Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 11:43 [IST]
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