Ozan Kabak is merely one player on Liverpool’s shortlist, according to reports. The 21-year-old faces a tough task to make it at Anfield.
This comes from the BBC. They claim Liverpool have a five-man shortlist that includes both Ibrahima Konate and Ozan Kabak.
The Athletic go along with that, in part, claiming Konate is close to a transfer.
Konate would cost around £35m, thanks to a release clause. He’d arrive as a 21-year-old defender with plenty of Bundesliga and Champions League experience – and that’s worth a lot.
Capable of slotting into the first-team right away, Konate’s potential is huge and it’s no surprise that Liverpool want him.
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But that’s unlikely to be good news for Kabak.
Room for one more?
Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez will all return next season. We can’t imagine any of them will leave, either.
Van Dijk and Gomez certainly won’t – we imagine they’ll return as Liverpool’s first-choice partnership. But Matip is an interesting one.
He’s struggling to stay fit these days, as shown this season. Liverpool desperately needed him to step up as their only remaining senior defender but he instead picked up another injury that ruled him out for the season.
So what’s his place? He’s not reliable backup behind the others, making him a poor third-choice. Konate, then, surely jumps ahead of him.
As fourth-choice, Matip is perhaps easier to use. Less football should mean fewer injuries. Liverpool aren’t quite as reliant on him, either.
And that’s very relevant to Kabak. Konate arriving would really leave the Turkey international the fourth-choice spot at best – he’d have to fight Matip for it.
But as per the BBC report, Liverpool must pay £18m to get Kabak permanently. Is that really worth it for fourth-choice?
There’s another problem, too. Picking Kabak over Matip means Liverpool likely sell the latter. But as an injury-prone 29-year-old who likely wants to stay, the market for him will be small. And probably not worth it.
And if Matip stays, spending £18m on an extra defender doesn’t seem worth it. Liverpool would have five, with Kabak arguably being fifth-choice.
For us, that’s just not worth the money. Not when Liverpool have other areas that need reinforcement.