Ozan Kabak has provided a glimpse of his ability in training for Liverpool ahead of a potential debut appearance against Manchester City on Sunday. The 20-year-old joined the Merseyside club on loan just an hour before Monday’s transfer deadline, with the Reds having the option to make his move permanent at the end of the season.
Kabak’s arrival will help to alleviate Jurgen Klopp‘s defensive injury crisis with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all sidelined until the end of the campaign.
The young defender has been preparing for action with his new team-mates at Liverpool’s brand new AXA Training Centre since receiving international clearance following his move from Schalke.
He has already impressed in his short spell on Merseyside, with a clip from Friday’s training session serving as evidence of his undeniable ability on the ball.
Kabak was seen taking part in a ‘rondo’, a short passing drill in which players stand in a circle and aim to keep possession from two defenders in the middle.
A video posted to Liverpool’s official Twitter account showed Kabak coolly poking the ball through the legs of the onrushing Trent Alexander-Arnold, provoking a wild reaction from his peers.
It remains to be seen whether Kabak will be given the nod against City with Fabinho having returned to training this week after a short spell on the treatment table.
Klopp could again opt for the stand-in defensive partnership of the Brazilian and Jordan Henderson, with neither player looking out of place at the back for Liverpool this season.
The German boss remained coy on Friday when quizzed on his selection for Sunday’s crunch clash.
“I don’t know,” Klopp told reporters. “With our situation, we will see who can play again, who cannot and who should not or who should play again – all these kind of things. Then we will see.
“In an ideal world, you have a few weeks and work together on defensive things, especially organisation and all these kind of things.
“Ben [Davies] and Ozan had yesterday an analysis meeting, and they trained, where they got shown all the stuff we do usually, like a centre-half movie.
“So today, proper session. Tomorrow, proper session and we will see. I don’t know yet.”
The Reds are hoping for a return to winning ways against Pep Guardiola‘s side after falling to a shock defeat against lowly Brighton and Hove Albion in midweek.
Kabak has spoken of his excitement ahead of Sunday’s game, with Liverpool able to cut City’s lead at the top of the Premier League table with an important victory.
The youngster also opened up on the role of Van Dijk in convincing him to join the Merseyside club, with the Dutchman his footballing idol.
“Everyone was very warm to me during training,” Kabak told Turkish outlet S Sport.
“I spoke with every member of the team. We had a great talk with Klopp. We have a good and professional team.
“When Van Dijk sent me his jersey [in 2018], I thought: ‘Hopefully I will wear this shirt together with him’. And I am now waiting for this dream to turn into reality.
“Liverpool [versus] City is a huge game. I don’t know whether I will play or I will be on the bench, but I am very excited. I hope we will be the winning team.”