Liverpool appear to have another opportunity with Ozan Kabak if they want it. The defender is a big question this summer.
If Liverpool want Ozan Kabak, they may be able to postpone the decision for a year. That’s if we believe a new report from the Chronicle.
They detail Newcastle United’s interest in the Schalke 04 defender. The Magpies considered him back in January, only to lose out to Liverpool right at the end.
Kabak appears set to ‘rejoin’ Schalke this summer. Only on paper, however – they’re already offering him to other clubs. The club suffered relegation last season, after all, and can’t afford the player next season.
It means Kabak will leave Liverpool and rejoin Schalke, but only with a view to immediately leave. We just don’t know where right now – though, the report says clubs could struggle with his £80k-a-week wages.
This also means Liverpool are passing on their £18m option to keep Kabak permanently. Interestingly, though, the Chronicle claims that Schalke are offering that exact same deal to other clubs. We assume that also means the Reds could take up that option.
That might give Liverpool an interesting opportunity.
Do Liverpool want Ozan Kabak?
Kabak performed well with Liverpool. In fact, we think Ibrahima Konate’s arrival is the sole reason they’re not signing him permanently.
The Turkish international would be behind Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Konate next season. It feels unnecessary to pay £18m for a fifth-choice centre-back.
But what if Liverpool brought him back on loan, once again with that £18m option? The Reds would get a player who already knows the system and can play right away.
That could be important. We don’t know how ready Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip will be after their injuries, after all. There might be a need for Kabak.
Postponing the decision for a year could also come at the right time. We worry about Matip’s long-term future with Liverpool, given his age (30 in August) and torrid time with injuries over the last two seasons. That’s not a good mix.
Kabak might look like the perfect replacement in 2022. We imagine Liverpool would be far more likely to pay £18m to bring him in then, especially if Matip does look like he’s on his way out.
There’s another person in play with all of this, though – Nat Phillips. Right now, he deserves that fifth-choice spot more than anyone. Honestly, he deserves far more at this stage of his career.
And maybe that means he moves on this summer. ESPN claim Liverpool will listen to offers. Maybe selling Phillips for a decent fee and replacing him with a cheap loan for Kabak makes some sense.
After all, Kabak is three years younger at just 21. Along with Gomez and Konate, he represents a chance to solidify Liverpool’s centre-back future.