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Liverpool loanee Ozan Kabak set for Premier League return

When Liverpool found themselves without a host of central defenders in January 2021, they turned to an odd place. Searching for available options, the Reds picked up Ozan Kabak from Schalke 04 in Germany. The Royal Blues were enduring an insufferable season, sitting rock bottom of the league and having one of the worst defences in Europe. Choosing a young, relatively inexperienced defender from a team that was looking almost traumatised might seem an odd choice. Kabak, though, did play a role in providing some stabilisation.

However, it is likely the Reds will land a different transfer target to fill-in defensively. As such, Kabak might find his lifelong dream of playing for Liverpool for a prolonged period come to an end. The 21-year-old looked strong in some performances, but showed his rash and inexperienced side at other opportunities. At the moment, though, it looks highly unlikely that Liverpool will pick up their £18m option to sign the Turk on the long-term. This, though, does not preclude Kabak from making a return to the Premier League at the start of the 2021-22 season, with several clubs impressed by his time at Anfield.

Where will Ozan Kabak go?

One thing is for sure – he will not stay at Schalke. Despite missing out at Liverpool due to fitness, he played enough games to show he is a player capable of playing Premier League and/or Bundesliga football. Schalke, having been relegated, will look to use the funds generated from his sale to start a major rebuild that is needed in Gelsenkirchen. This would see Kabak sold, with RB Leipzig linked as one of the interested teams.

However, Leicester City are believed to be keen to bring Kabak back to England. They would pair him up with international teammate Caglar Soyuncu, another player who came through in the Bundesliga. This would offer the Foxes a solid, versatile defender with pace who could easily fill in alongside his compatriot. It would also offer a long-term player to take the role of Jonny Evans, who is now approaching the twilight of his career.

Though it is believed that Kabak impressed Jurgen Klopp at Melwood, it is believed they will make the move to bring in a new defender to take his place. Given he was signed to provide a fit, firing central defensive option, his regular niggles and small injuries made it hard for the club to feel like they could legitimately depend on him.

This has left some really intriguing discussions around whether or not they should pursue the deal. If not, it is likely that a return to England will take place. Other teams have also been tentatively linked, including the likes of Tottenham and West Ham United.

With an exit from Schalke almost certain, it would be a shock to see Kabak arrive back at Liverpool next year. He should, though, still be seen on Match of the Day next year as an English return is almost assured.

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