Liverpool should not write off surprise transfer return for defender who loves Jürgen Klopp


If there is one area where Liverpool probably still wants to strengthen, it's in Jürgen Klopp's defensive department. The emergence of Jarell Quansah has been a breath of fresh air this season, but looking ahead to the future, Klopp will probably want to add at least one more center-back to his roster.

After all, Virgil van Dijk and Joël Matip are not getting any younger, and with the latter's contract expiring in 2024, it would make sense to let him go at the end of the season. Matip's form did dip towards the end of last season, and at 33 years old next year, it might be a gamble to hope he will continue performing at the same high standards he has set over the years.

Instead, Liverpool will need to look at a younger and fresher option, who can represent the new face of Klopp's 2.0 team. But for that kind of profile, Liverpool may not need to search too extensively. There is a player who fits into what Liverpool is looking for who has already spent time at Anfield, and who is a huge admirer of Klopp himself.

Hoffenheim defender Ozan Kabak enjoyed a six-month loan stint with Liverpool back in 2021. Coming in during a difficult time for the club, Kabak did a solid job, especially considering he was still extremely young at the time himself. He was only 20 years old when he joined Liverpool and, at the time, he served his purpose, but the Reds decided not to make his move permanent.

Instead, Kabak went on loan to Norwich City before reviving his career at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, where he is starting to emerge as one of the best young center-backs in the league once again.

As per Wyscout, out of U23 Bundesliga center-backs, Kabak ranks in the top five for defensive duels won with 72.5 per cent. Meanwhile, no one makes more interceptions than the Turkish international, at 6.73 per 90 minutes.

A player who is comfortable on the ball as well, Kabak's recent form should alert Liverpool's attention again. Speaking in the November issue of German magazine SPIELFELD, as per Hoffenheim's official website, Kabak spoke highly of his time at Anfield and Klopp himself.

“It was a roller coaster ride for me. But it also made me a more mature player and a more mature person at the same time,” he said.

“He (Klopp) is one of the best coaches in the world. I learned a lot from Jürgen Klopp and overall had a great six months in Liverpool.”

As a replacement for Matip, Liverpool would struggle to find more cost-effective options than Kabak. If the Turkish international continues in the same form, a return to Anfield should not be written off.

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