Ozan Kabak: How Liverpool pulled off clever and surprising deal – Transfer Talk podcast – Sky Sports

Liverpool have ‘pulled Schalke’s pants down’ to sign defender Ozan Kabak, according to the Transfer Talk podcast panel.

Liverpool completed the signing of Schalke central defender Ozan Kabak on Deadline Day on a six-month loan with an option to buy.

The 20-year old Turkey international has already undergone a medical in Germany and is expected to fly into Merseyside in the next hours. Schalke will pocket an initial loan fee of £1m, rising to £1.5m in potential add-ons depending on appearances and Liverpool’s performance in the Champions League.

Liverpool will retain an option to buy in the summer worth an initial £18m, which could rise to £26.5m with add-ons, and will have until June to trigger that clause.

Speaking on the latest Transfer Talk podcast, football writer Sam Tighe admitted he was surprised at how Liverpool were able to do the deal for the defender, who was on their radar last summer and is a long-term target of the club’s recruitment team.

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‘Liverpool pulled Schalke’s pants down’

Football writer Sam Tighe on the Transfer Talk podcast:

“Schalke have had their pants pulled down on this one. Financially speaking, they are in ruin. They been pretty poor for 12 months and they are bottom of the Bundesliga, but their accounts are in a pretty dire situation.

“To basically let go what is essentially their prized possession in Kabak, a really talented young defender, for a couple of million up front on a loan with a potential to buy if Liverpool fancy it later.

“I don’t understand how they have not been able to press Liverpool into a more difficult position. I know Liverpool obviously weren’t working with huge sums up front, but this feels like a very one-sided deal in Liverpool’s favour, and they were in a state of desperate need.

“I don’t really understand how Michael Edwards [Liverpool sporting director] keeps doing it. Kabak is a good player. He has great physical attributes. He’s aggressive, good in duels and he wins a lot of aerial battles, so I am excited to see what he can bring to Liverpool’s team.

“He definitely feels more the calibre and more of the level than maybe Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams were. No offence to them, but Williams was in the National League North last season, so it is a big step up and Kabak is more suited to it.”

‘Michael Edwards does it again’

Ozan Kabak was arguably the most high-profile Premier League signing on Deadline Day, moving to Liverpool from Schalke


Sky Germany reporter Dirk Grosse Schlarmann believes Liverpool have agreed a ‘super deal’ for new defender Ozan Kabak

SSN’s Dharmesh Sheth on the Transfer Talk podcast:

“This is quite a clever deal on the face of it from Liverpool because he’s a young defender. All the reports coming out of Germany say he’s very good.

“Schalke are bottom of the Bundesliga, so you have got to question the fact he’s been playing in a struggling team and they have not been doing very well at all, but Liverpool have been tracking this guy for a couple of years by all accounts, so it was not just something they thought about in this transfer window.

“As we know, Liverpool’s mantra, their recruitment policy has always been to have a long-term view on players.

“We all remember when they wanted to sign Virgil van Dijk, it didn’t happen the first time around. They did not go for anyone else, they waited, and they got their man.

“I do not know whether this was along the same lines as Van Dijk because I don’t want to put that pressure on Kabak, but he has been a long-term target for Liverpool.

“All of the Liverpool fans we have heard from on social media were very pleased Michael Edwards had done it again for Liverpool in their recruitment.”

What about Kabak’s future?

Ozan Kabak has completed a Deadline Day move to Liverpool


Paul Merson says Kabak will consider himself rather fortunate

SSN’s Dharmesh Sheth on the Transfer Talk podcast:

“Looking further on, six or seven months down the line, if and when Van Dijk, Matip and Gomez are back fit and ready, what happens to Davies and Kabak?

“It will be interesting to see what Liverpool do, particularly with Kabak because it is a loan with an option.

“Are they just filling a gap just to see what they can do and then realising they have got a few of their mainstays coming back from injury, so they will not need to exercise the option?”

What attributes does Ben Davies need to succeed?

Ben Davies has signed for Liverpool


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says new signings Ben Davies from Preston and Ozan Kabak from Schalke are ‘Hollywood stories’

Liverpool have also brought Preston defender Ben Davies to Anfield on a long-term contract in a £1.6m deal.

The Premier League champions have paid £500,000 up front for Davies but Preston could receive add-ons totalling up to £1.1m, while the Championship club will also retain a 20 per cent sell-on clause on the defender.

Football writer Sam Tighe on the Transfer Talk podcast:

“He’s going to need every attribute [to succeed in Liverpool’s defence]. We are talking about one of the best teams in the world and they play with a high line and press. Their centre-backs play in big spaces, so they need their recovery speed, they need their one vs one ability, they need to be able to turn properly and they need to be able to duel in the air.

“Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez – these are all really complete centre-backs. To be able to play at centre-back for Liverpool you have to be really good.

“The most important thing is probably that recovery speed because that’s what Nat Phillips and Reece Williams have really struggled with. They have got some pretty good fundamentals on them but in that high line, when they get turned, the Premier League is an unforgiving place.

“The wingers are absolutely rapid so that speed on the turn is really important. That’s what makes a centre-back capable of playing for Liverpool or what doesn’t.”

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Who else was in the running for Liverpool?

SSN’s Dharmesh Sheth on the Transfer Talk podcast:

“We are saying what great moves for Davies and Kabak, but if you believe what you here and all the reports that were coming out, do spare a thought for Croatian defender Duje Caleta-Car, because that was a deal Liverpool were strongly looking at.

“There were some reports that they had even made a bid and Marseille rejected that bid. There was a story that he was stranded at the airport just waiting for the green light to go and say yes to Liverpool. What’s more, his partner, she put on Instagram, as you do, a video of The Beatles’ All You Need Is Love, and all the Liverpool fans went into meltdown.

“The Beatles are from Liverpool. ‘He must be joining Liverpool,’ they thought, but he didn’t. He remains at Marseille.

“They were also after another player called David Carmo from Braga. There were reports that Liverpool had made a couple of bids for him, but look, they have done their business now. Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak are both in and they have got the central defenders they needed.”

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