Liverpool’s defensive woes
Liverpool were hit by a flurry of defensive injuries in the 2020-21 season. Virgil Van Dijk, arguably the best defender in world football, suffered a severe knee injury that ruled him out for the season, while Joe Gomez also missed a large chunk of the season through injury.
Even third choice defender Joel Matip found himself on the treatment table for much of the campaign, making just 10 Premier League appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side. This meant that Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams, both uncapped ahead of the season, became the first choice defensive partnership for a large part of the season.
January brought the transfer window, and with it, two new defensive additions in the form of Schalke’s Ozan Kabak and Preston North End’s Ben Davies. However, Kabak made little impact, whilst Davies remains waiting for his Liverpool debut.
In addition, Liverpool have, this summer, signed RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate to further bolster their back line.
— Ibrahima Konate (@IbrahimaKonate_) July 12, 2021
Kabak rejected by Klopp
All in all, with all fully fit, Klopp now has seven defenders to choose from.
This feeling! 😁😁😁 pic.twitter.com/Clt2U7drfL
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) July 13, 2021
This means that, as reported two months ago, the Reds chose not to take up their option to buy on Ozan Kabak, which would have set them back around 18 million pounds.
🔴 Liverpool intend to pay Ibrahima Konate €41m release clause
🔴 Must be up front, no instalments
🔴 #LFC not signing Ozan Kabak permanently (was option to buy for £18m + add-ons in loan)
🔴 No decision yet on Phillips
With @JamesPearceLFC @TheAthleticUKhttps://t.co/n8CpLFu0tA
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) May 25, 2021
In recent days, however, it appears as though Kabak was offered back to Klopp’s side for a cut-price fee. According to Neil Jones, the Liverpool correspondent for Goal.com, the merseyside outfit have turned down the offer to sign Kabak for just 8.5 million pounds.
Liverpool have been offered (and turned down) the chance to sign Ozan Kabak for just £8.5m, with Schalke desperate to offload the former Reds loanee.#LFC
— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) July 14, 2021
As reported by 101 yesterday, Leicester City now appears to be his final destination.