Philipp Degen made the Ozan Kabak deal happen. We certainly didn’t see that one coming.
Schale 04 boss Christian Gross says Philipp Degen is the one to thank for their deadline-day business. He made two deals happen.
Schalke wanted to sign Shkodran Mustafi but couldn’t quite justify the financials. Degen was involved, however, and decided to try and make something materialise.
Knowing that Liverpool wanted a defender – though, everyone did – Degen ‘called Jurgen Klopp’ and made him aware that Ozan Kabak was available.
That £1.5m deal then got the Mustafi signing in motion.
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“[Degen] is super networked in football,” Gross told Blick.
“Without him, Mustafi would not have come to us. He came because Philipp called Jürgen Klopp. Because Philipp knew that Liverpool were looking for a central defender.
“And he asked whether Liverpool was interested in Ozan Kabak – so Philipp knew that Schalke could possibly give Kabak to Liverpool – and he could bring Mustafi to Schalke.”
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Finally, after 12 and a half years, Liverpool justify the Degen signing.
He signed for Liverpool on a free transfer in the summer of 2008 from Borussia Dortmund. Coincidentally, that was the same summer Klopp took over at BVB.
But Degen was an absolutely disastrous signing for Liverpool. He played just twice in his first season and left after his second – racking up a total of 13 appearances.
Injuries took him out of the side pretty much constantly, which you maybe can’t blame Liverpool for? His final season with Dortmund was ravaged by injury, though, so the warning signs were there.
But anyway, Degen was awful even when he did play. Just not a fit for Liverpool.
This, though, is a fantastic way to make up for all that. If Kabak is the player we hope he is, he’ll save the season.
And then we’ll have Degen to thank. Certainly didn’t see that coming.