Friday, January 28, 2022

Newcastle United Eyeing A Fresh Move For This Young Defender: Right Choice For Bruce?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, The Sunday Mirror (14/02, page 8) has claimed that Newcastle United are eyeing a fresh move for Schalke 04 defender Ozan Kabak, who is currently playing on loan at Liverpool. It is understood that the Reds have the option to sign him permanently next summer, but if they decide not to do so, then the Magpies could move in for him again after failing to land him on deadline day of the January transfer window (transcripted by HITC).

Kabak’s Growing Frustrations This Season

Kabak made a poor start to his loan spell at Merseyside after colliding with his keeper Allison Becker which gifted Leicester a go-ahead goal and proved to be a huge turning point in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat at the King Power Stadium last weekend. The Ankara-born sensation endured a tough time with Schalke in the first half of this campaign when he failed to keep things tidy at the back that saw the club get rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table.

The 20-year-old has been involved in 14 matches for the German outfit this term, picking up four yellow cards and one red card across all fronts. Still, the Turkish youngster deserves a pat on the back for not giving up when faced with adversity. He averaged 1.2 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 3.9 clearances, 0.9 shots and 1.3 dribbles per 90 minutes in the German first division. He has even been accurate when playing his way out from defence as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 87.9% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Newcastle United eyeing a fresh move for Ozan Kabak who is in action in the picture
Schalke’s Ozan Kabak in action during the Bundesliga match between Sport-Club Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 at Schwarzwald-Stadion on June 27, 2020 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. (Photo by Ronald Wittek/Pool via Getty Images)

What Does The Turkey International Offer On The Pitch?

Despite his recent struggles in terms of getting results, Kabak has shown great potential with his performances this season. He is often quick to react to the danger and can make some essential clearances inside his half. The seven-time Turkey international is a strong tackler as well that helps him win the ball back for his team. Plus, he is a good ball-playing centre-back and can use his powerful 1.86m frame to win a few crucial aerial duels on the defensive end of the pitch.

Is Kabak The Right Choice For The Magpies?

Kabak could potentially become a world-class player in his position someday, so if Liverpool decide to opt against signing him permanently at the end of the campaign, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce should think about orchestrating a fresh move to bring him to St. James’ Park either on loan or permanently during the summer transfer window.

The Turkish starlet is good enough to rival Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez for a regular starting place in Bruce’s first-team. Furthermore, he will also enhance the overall depth of the Newcastle squad, which makes him a decent choice for Bruce to consider in the summer.

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