Jurgen Klopp has praised Ozan Kabak’s “really solid” start to life at Liverpool, and explained how avoiding “the easy way in his career” has helped him at 20.
Kabak was scrutinised for his role in goals for Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes in the 3-1 defeat to Leicester, but overall it was a productive debut for the Turk.
He followed that up with a vital display as Liverpool kept a clean sheet against RB Leipzig in the Champions League, using his experience of playing the Bundesliga side to help secure a 2-0 first-leg win.
Now a first-choice starter in the absence of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, Kabak has the confidence of his manager.
Speaking ahead of the Merseyside derby, which should bring a third consecutive start for the No. 19, Klopp praised Kabak and explained that, despite criticism of his debut, he was “really solid.”
“Big potential. Twenty years old, already pretty experienced, to be honest. He didn’t take the easy way in his career so far,” he enthused.
“When you are in Istanbul and can play for one of the biggest teams probably in the world, and always being around the top of the table, then you go to Stuttgart, then you go to Schalke.
“[There] you have to fight really hard to win a football game. That’s good from an education, development point of view.
“Now he’s here and looks really promising.
“Both games were really solid. Yes, we all know what happened in the Leicester game, but around this situation, or maybe the two situations, he already played a really solid game.
“Not to forget who we played against that day, number two in the Premier League, or three, so that’s a tough one with all the strikers they have.
“So he did really well and long may it continue.”