Rumour Mill: Liverpool scout Turkish left-backs Ismail Koybasi & Caner Erkin

on 02.03.2016


With scouts present for Fenerbahce 2-0 win at home to Besiktas on Monday night, left-backs Ismail Koybasi and Caner Erkin were said to be on the agenda.

Reinforcements on the defensive flanks are likely to be made a priority as Jurgen Klopp shapes his squad for his first season in charge on Merseyside, and the German may have found a solution for one of his problem positions in Turkey.

As Fenerbahce played out their 2-0 victory against Istanbul rivals Besiktas at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium on Monday, Koybasi and Erkin caught the eye of a watching Reds delegation.

That is according to Emre Sarigul of Turkish-Football.com, who claims scouts were “impressed” with Erkin’s performance.

Erkin caught the eye after laying on a brilliant assist for Volkan Sen’s opener, drilling a free-kick from the edge of the area towards the winger, who duly volleyed home beyond Tolga Zengin.

Helping Fener to keep a clean sheet against their bitter rivals, Erkin showcased his strong all-round quality as a left-back.

A formidable presence at both ends of the pitch, Erkin has been linked with a move to Anfield in the past, but signed a new deal with the Reds in 2014.

This contract is set to expire at the end of the season, providing Klopp with a low-risk, low-cost addition at left-back.


Crucially, the stocky, imposing Erkin would arrive with considerable experience, having won the Turkish Super Lig twice with Fener, and turned out regularly in the Champions League and the Europa League.

Koybasi fared less well on Monday night, as Besiktas conceded twice to give Fener a comfortable victory, but Sarigul attests that the 26-year-old “put on an impressive performance both defensively and going forward.”

A 12-cap Turkey international, Koybasi vies with Erkin for a starting role under national team manager Fatih Terim.

Able to deputise at right-back, Koybasi is a proficient left-back with a strong defensive approach, who is also comfortable pushing forward into the attacking third.

Like Erkin, Koybasi is in the final months of his contract with Besiktas, and looks unlikely to extend his contract with the Black Eagles.

Both Koybasi and Erkin would bolster Klopp’s left-back ranks significantly, with question marks over current first choice Alberto Moreno throughout 2016.


As with soon-to-be Reds centre-back Joel Matip, signing Koybasi or Erkin would allow Liverpool to channel their transfer funds towards other positions in the squad, with a big-money move for Bayern Munich’s Mario Gotze rumoured to be in the offing.

The Turkish pair are not the only left-backs on Klopp’s radar, however, with Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell a long-reported target.

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