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Ozan Kabak reveals Virgil van Dijk gave him ‘tips about how Liverpool play’ after joining Reds on loan

Karl Matchett
·2-min read
Liverpool’s Ozan Kabak (Getty Images)
Liverpool’s Ozan Kabak (Getty Images)

New Liverpool centre-back Ozan Kabak has sought out help from one of his inspirations as he looks to adjust to the demands of playing for the Premier League champions.

The young defender arrived on loan from Schalke in the mid-season transfer window, with the German side struggling at the foot of the table all season long - in contrast to the Reds hoping to seal a top-four finish.

Defensive injuries and poor results mean it hasn’t been an easy transition to make for Kabak, who has already had multiple partners at the back in just three league outings, but the sidelined Virgil van Dijk has stepped in to offer guidance - with the Dutch international one of names Kabak has previously said he looks up to.

READ MORE: Premier League fixtures and table - all matches by date and kick-off time

“[Van Dijk] gave me a lot of help and tips about football. Now he is in rehabilitation but I hope he will be back soon and he will help us on the pitch also,” said Kabak to Premier League Productions.

“I am looking forward to playing with him, of course, in the defence. He gave me some advice about how Liverpool plays in defence and how we have a high line, so he gave me some tips about how Liverpool play.

“It’s little things but of course it helps when you play, when you defend. He is such an experienced guy and his words are very valuable for me.”

While Kabak endured some initial struggles, such as colliding with goalkeeper Alisson to concede a goal against Leicester, he looked rather more assured in the weekend win over Sheffield United.

His next outing is almost certain to come on Thursday night when the Reds play top-four rivals Chelsea, with the Turkish international suggesting the English league is more fast-paced than he is used to.

“The Premier League is a really, really high level. The Bundesliga was also a really high level, but I think the Premier League is more high-intensity and physical.”

Fabinho is likely to be available to Jurgen Klopp against the Blues, having filled in at centre-back with some frequency this season, though Nat Phillips will also hope to feature again.

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