Ozan Kabak has revealed that he is attempting to emulate his Liverpool teammate Virgil van Dijk’s defensive intelligence, as reported by Liverpoolfc.com.
Explaining that he often goes to the towering Dutchman for advice, the 21-year-old opened up on how the 29-year-old has helped his game.
“As a defender, I think you need to smell the danger and you need to see it before it happens,” the Turk said.
“I don’t know how it’s called in English but you need to guess where’s the danger and you need to go there and cover. You need to be intelligent. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do but it’s about experience, too, I think.
“Our friend Virgil [van Dijk], for example, is so good at this job. He does it very well because he’s a really experienced guy and he knows this football. So I tried to do my best and game by game I think I got better on this.
“He [Van Dijk] gave me small tips about our football mentality. I think defenders understand each other better and he came with some small tips about how we play or what I need to do. It helps [my] game.”
As far as defensive mentors go, you could argue that there are few in world football, at this particular point in time, better-equipped to offer tips.
The on-loan Schalke star has been a solid performer nonetheless, despite a long-term injury keeping him away from a potentially fascinating link-up with Van Dijk in the heart of the backline.
With Jurgen Klopp having been left impressed by the defender’s efforts since making the switch in the January transfer window, one might reasonably expect the loan to be made permanent in the summer, as Liverpool look to bolster their options for the future.