Liverpool have identified Schalke 04 defender Ozan Kabak as Virgil van Dijk’s potential replacement in January, according to reports.
Kabak on the Anfield radar
The Dutchman is set to miss a significant amount of the 2020/21 campaign after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament during last weekend’s 2-2 draw in the Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park.
As the incident occurred just after the transfer window closed, the Reds will now have to wait until January if they want to bring in defensive reinforcements.
According to Sport Media Set (via talkSPORT), Kabak, a 20-year-old Turkish centre-back, is believed to be the answer for the future as they adjust to life without the Dutchman. However, Kabak was involved in a controversial incident which saw him severely punished by the German Football Federation (DFB).
The 1.86m (6 foot 1) defender appeared to spit at Werder Bremen’s Ludwig Augustinsson and was sent off later in the game following his side’s defeat, subsequently being found guilty of unsporting behaviour and suspended for four matches. On top of this, Kabak was fined €15,000 (£13,640) and later apologised for his actions, stressting that they were unintentional (via AA).
The next El-Hadji Diouf?
Liverpool are known for having a squad with a strong bond and players who possess powerfully positive mindsets. Having a player like Kabak around the likes of Jordan Henderson and James Milner on a daily basis could disrupt the group.
The Reds have had troublesome figures play for the club over the years, most notably El Hadji-Diouf, who was caught spitting at a Celtic fan during a UEFA Cup game at Celtic Park in the early 2000s.
It is something that the Merseysiders will want to eradicate from their history. Any risk of such incidents reoccurring should be enough for Liverpool to steer clear of Kabak, never mind to replace their best defender.
Jurgen Klopp would be better going for someone like RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, a promising centre-half who is playing in the Champions League regularly and has the potential to fill Van Dijk’s shoes.
In other news, 6 ft 2 ace could become Michael Edwards’ first flop after startling Klopp revelation.
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