Kabak has ‘future captain’ potential says Liverpool boss Klopp

The Turkey international has joined the Reds on loan for the remainder of the season

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has lavished praise on January deadline-day signing Ozan Kabak, talking of him as a future captain.

Klopp went some way to easing his defensive woes on deadline day by signing Kabak on loan from Schalke and Ben Davies in a permanent deal from Preston.

The Reds have an option to turn Kabak’s deal into a permanent arrangement in the summer, and Klopp’s comments suggest he expects that to happen.

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Kabak has swapped a relegation scrap in the Bundesliga for a title push at Liverpool, and Klopp feels the Turkey international has the tools required to make the transition – having been given a glowing assessment from his friend and former Schalke boss David Wagner.

“Dave was already very, very positive about him,” Klopp told the club’s official website. “He came very young to Germany and everybody was clear he was a massive talent.

“He is only 20 now. He plays in his second club [in Germany]; he is at Schalke and unfortunately they are in a bad position in the moment.

“For him, I think it’s a really good moment to make the move because, like each player in the world, you need a stable team around you and that’s what we can deliver.

“We deliver a stable team and you can play your position, you don’t have to be 20 with pretty much everything on the pitch and not allowed to make mistakes anymore.

“He’s really a big, big talent and we are really looking forward to working with him.”

With Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip long-term absentees, and Fabinho struggling with niggling issues, Kabak could get an early chance to impress in the Premier League.

Klopp believes the youngster is ready to seize his chance, and has the makings of a future leader of the club.

“Dave always said he will be a future captain of a team. He is a proper personality,” Klopp said.

“When you go abroad in that young age, to another country and play for other clubs, he could have played in Turkey in each club he wants. Goes then to Stuttgart, goes then to Schalke. He could have gone anywhere but he wanted to make football steps and we are a proper football step for him.

“He wants to learn but he can deliver already.”

The deal is subject to international clearance, so he is not available to face Brighton on Wednesday and is unlikely to be thrown in at the deep end against Manchester City at the weekend, so his first action could come at Leicester on February 13.

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