Boyhood Liverpool fan Ozan Kabak has expressed his delight at joining the Reds and outlined why he believes he has what it takes to succeed in Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
The 20-year-old became the second centre-back signed by the club on transfer deadline day when he followed Preston North End’s Ben Davies through the Anfield entrance door after completing a loan deal from Bundesliga side Schalke for the remainder of the season with an option for an £18million permanent switch in the summer.
While the switch completed a hectic couple of days for the Turkey international, Kabak, who will wear the number 19 shirt, revealed that his admiration for the Reds goes back many years.
He told the club’s website : “ Liverpool was my childhood team. So I always wanted to come to this club, to play at this amazing stadium, in front of these amazing fans. So it’s a dream for me. Now the dream comes true.
“It’s even more exciting for me because it came from my childhood.
“I watched ex-Liverpool players a lot of times, like [Steven] Gerrard and Sami Hyypia. I know there’s a lot of legendary players.
“I also watched the Champions League final in 2005. I was really impressed a lot of times watching these games. They’re my memories.”
Kabak has continued to watch Liverpool games in more recent times and believes that he can be a good fit for Klopp’s approach.
He said: “I always watch the Premier League and of course Liverpool. The last couple of years, they really dominated the Premier League and Champions League, I would say.
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“This team is an amazing team and I can say maybe the best team in the world. So I’m so happy to be here, I’m just so happy.
“I would say I’m physically strong and a ball-playing centre-back. I’m good in the air. Sometimes I can score! I try to score sometimes. That’s it I think.”
Asked if he feels his qualities are well suited to playing in this Liverpool team, Kabak responded: “Yes, of course. First of all, Liverpool play offensive football and press high; sometimes they leave some space in the back so I think Liverpool centre-backs need to be fast, so I think I suit it in this way.
“Also, they like to play and build the game, so you need to have good feet to build up the game. So I think I suit Liverpool very well.”
As a lifelong Liverpool fan himself, Kabak is eager to show Kopites what he is capable of and he is obviously determined to stick around long enough to play in front of a packed Anfield.
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He said: “To the fans, I want them to support me and believe in me. I will give my everything and I will work.
“I want to play as soon as possible in front of these amazing fans.
“I’m really looking forward to playing at Anfield, to play in this amazing stadium and also to play in front of such a good atmosphere.
“But because of COVID it’s not possible to play in front of the fans, but after COVID I want to hear You’ll Never Walk Alone sung. I’m so happy and I’m looking forward to playing at Anfield.”