Liverpool were in the realms of panic buying on transfer deadline day when the last standing central defender Joel Matip was struck by a season-ending injury.
As the Reds scrambled in the final hours of the window, Jurgen Klopp would’ve been delighted to see Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies arrive.
Albeit very much bargain basement shopping with the duo costing a little over £3m combined from the outset, Liverpool were in dire need and at least had options.
Kabak’s arrival from Schalke was the most prestigious, having been touted for some time as a target for the Anfield club, the 20-year-old came with a rich promise.
Despite his tender years, the Turkish ace had been through the mill in his fledgeling career – having endured difficult spells with both Stuttgart and Schalke.
However, there was the belief that the issues weren’t down to Kabak’s failings – instead, he was the leading light in an otherwise sinking ship.
With 77 first-team appearances already under his belt, for a man barely out of his teenage years, Kabak had some experience and therefore was thrown immediately into the deep end as Klopp’s side travelled to high-flying Leicester City.
Unfortunately, it all proved a little too much for the former Galatasary youth player, as a horror moment between him and Alisson Becker saw the Foxes more or less walk the ball into an unguarded net.
That moment aside, Kabak has shown himself to have all the attributes to make it as a Liverpool player in his seven appearances thus far.
Compared to the senior recognised central defenders who have featured for the Reds this season, the on-loan 6’1 man has completed more interceptions than Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and Phillips, whilst only the latter two have completed more clearances (Squawka).
Klopp will be well versed in Kabak’s ability on the training ground, as well as in matches and ultimately will make a considered decision based on what he sees.
£18m for a 20-year-old who could go on to become an elite-level defender, particularly when partnered alongside van Dijk – a permanent transfer looks very much on the cards.