Sunday, January 29, 2023

Liverpool Keeping Tabs On This Turkish Defensive Ace: Is He An Exciting Option For The Reds?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

According to Turkish publication Futbol Arena, the Liverpool scouts have been impressed with the performances of Trabzonspor ‘keeper Ugurcan Cakir. The 23-year-old has been identified as an ideal back-up for Alisson as the Reds prepare for the potential departure of Simon Mignolet this summer.

Cakir’s breakthrough season at Trabzonspor

A product of the Trabzonspor youth academy, Cakir has been a part of the senior side since 2014, barring a short loan spell at 1461 Trabzon back in 2016. But, it wasn’t until the 2018/19 campaign that the 23-year-old finally managed to make a breakthrough in the Trabzonspor first-team, thanks to the Onur Kivrak incident.

The 31-year-old veteran verbally abused a fan after the match against Malatyaspor, after which, he was banned indefinitely from the club, and later, the club agreed to terminate his contract. And this paved the way for Cakir to become the first-choice keeper for the ‎Karadeniz Fırtınası.

Cakir has since made 20 appearances for the club in the league, helping Trabzonspor finish fourth in the Superlig. He conceded only 23 goals during that time while keeping five clean sheets. 

What can Cakir bring to the table?

One of the things that make Cakir such a sought-after goalkeeper in Turkish football is his composure on the ball. The young ‘keeper appears confident with the ball at his feet and is capable of distributing possession from the back. He is also quite quick off his line and can thus play the role of a sweeper ‘keeper, which has become a vital asset for any goalkeeper in modern football. 

Aside from that, Cakir has a tall frame of 191cm that lets him cover a considerable area in goal while also making him an intimidating figure in the box, especially when it comes to set-pieces. He has notably averaged an impressive 3.5 saves per game this past season.

Should Liverpool make a move for Cakir?

Cakir would be an excellent option for Liverpool for multiple reasons. The Turkish international is young and has room to improve, and given his lack of experience and popularity, it’s unlikely he will demand a regular place in the starting lineup.

He is more than capable of playing the role of a cup goalkeeper, although that will be restricted to just domestic cup competitions. And at the age of only 23, he could be a smart long-term investment for the Reds.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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