Ozan Kabak could be an ideal long-term partner for Joe Gomez. Liverpool want the Schalke 04 defender, according to reports.
This comes from journalist Chris Williams, who believes Liverpool contacted Schalke about Kabak. The Germans don’t want to sell, apparently, but an offer of around £23m could tempt them.
Kabak is a very highly-rated 20-year-old who has played for three major clubs, despite his young age. He started at Galatasaray before moving to Stuttgart in January 2019.
He impressed enough over the second half of that season that he won the Bundesliga Rookie of the Season. Stuttgart’s relegation meant he was off, though, and he signed for Schalke a year ago.
Now, though, Liverpool supposedly want to sign him. And if they do, they could secure an ideal long-term partner for Gomez.
Liverpool do need to plan for the future. Their team has several players approaching or over 30 and the centre of defence is one of those. Dejan Lovren’s departure means there are now only three senior centre-halves – Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Gomez.
Gomez is 23 but both Van Dijk and Matip are 29. By the time Gomez is in his prime – hopefully another three or four years – the other two will be far past theirs.
And thus Kabak makes complete sense with Gomez in mind. He’s only 20, so no rush to use him all-out immediately, and he can develop as a squad player until he’s in his own prime.
By then, Gomez should be the undisputed senior centre-half and around the same age as Van Dijk is now. A partnership with Kabak in four or five years would thus start the chain all over again.
It would have an added advantage compared to Gomez and Van Dijk, however. Kabak and Gomez would have played together for some time, theoretically leading to a very experienced and comfortable duo.
As long as Kabak is as good as Liverpool hope, a deal could secure the future of their defence for a long time to come.