Ozan Kabak joined Ben Davies as one of two central defenders to sign for injury-hit Liverpool in the January transfer window. The Turkey international arrived on an initial six-month loan, for a fee of £1m that could yet reach £1.5m; there is an option for the deal to be made permanent, for a reported fee of £18m that could rise to £26.5m. At only 20 years of age, he remains a raw prospect rather than the finished article, but serious injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joël Matip mean that he is likely to feature before the conclusion of a difficult season for his new club.
Should he do enough to convince Liverpool to sign him permanently, it will be a significant sign of their confidence in his abilities. Van Dijk remains widely thought of as the world’s best central defender, and Joe Gomez as England’s. When everyone is fit, Liverpool’s back five is perhaps even more widely considered the finest in the world. “He’s really a big, big talent and we are really looking forward to working with him,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said. “He is a proper personality.”