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Newcastle United Remain Interested In Recruiting This Ex-Liverpool 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 tweet, renowned journalist Fabrizio Romano mentioned that Newcastle United remain interested in recruiting Schalke defender Ozan Kabak this summer. However, it has been revealed that the Magpies are yet to launch an official bid for the Turkey international with the transfer deadline fast approaching.

Kabak’s Underwhelming Loan Spell At Anfield Last Season

Kabak had an unimpressive loan spell at Liverpool in the second half of last season. He played a sporadic role in Jurgen Klopp’s squad but ended up missing a lot of games due to injury. The Turkish centre-half made 13 appearances for the Merseyside outfit in the previous campaign, picking up four yellow cards in the process on all fronts.

However, Kabak proved himself to be a capable defender when he was fit as he averaged 2.1 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 3.0 clearances per 90 minutes in the 2020-21 Premier League season. He even distributed possession with conviction from the back after making 88.7% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

The Ankara-born talent has still got a lot of time to establish himself as a top performer at the highest level. Therefore, a switch to Newcastle could appeal to him as it will give him another chance to prove his worth in the Premier League.

Newcastle United remain interested in recruiting Kabak who is seen in the picture
Liverpool v Newcastle United – Premier League – Anfield Liverpool s Ozan Kabak and Newcastle United s Joelinton battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday April 24, 2021. EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xDavidxKleinx 59372012

Is Kabak The Right Choice For The Magpies?

Kabak can scan the danger quickly and doesn’t take too many chances when clearing his lines at the back. He is a decent tackler of the ball and can pull off a few crucial interceptions on the defensive end of the field. The 12-time Turkey international can play his way out from inside his half but can sometimes get caught out of position. The 21-year-old is prone to making the odd error at the back as he is still quite inexperienced and would need time to mature into a top talent.

If Steve Bruce is willing to offer Kabak regular playing minutes at Tyneside, Newcastle would be wise to engineer a move to bring him to St. James’ Park before the end of this transfer window. At 21, the Turkish sensation has the potential to become a class act in central defence in the coming seasons.

At the moment, Kabak is good enough to rival Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez for a regular starting place at the Tyneside club. Therefore, the Schalke youngster will be a decent choice for the Magpies to pursue during this summer transfer period.

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