Leicester City are reportedly interested in signing Schalke 04 defender Ozan Kabak before the summer transfer window closes.
The Foxes have suffered a big blow before the start of the 2021-22 Premier League campaign, losing defender Wesley Fofana to injury until 2022. Fofana dislocated his ankle and suffered nasty medial ligament damage following a reckless challenge by Fer Nino during Leicester City’s pre-season friendly against Villarreal last week.
Now, Brendan Rodgers is on the lookout for a central defender in the final weeks of the transfer window as a cover for Wesley Fofana. According to BILD via Sport Witness (h/t Leicester Mercury), Leicester City have tabled an €8 million offer for Ozan Kabak.
Ozan Kabak, 21, spent the second half of last season on loan at Liverpool, where he made 13 appearances. However, the Reds chose not to sign him permanently at the end of the campaign and have instead brought in Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig in his place.
Ozan Kabak to Leicester City—Can he help the Foxes qualify for the Champions League?
Leicester City narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification in May for the second season running under Brendan Rodgers. Instead, they’ll compete in the Europa League again that will see the Foxes play twice in a week—Thursday (Europe) and Sunday (Premier League).
Keeping that in mind, Rodgers needs a bigger squad to compete on all fronts. He certainly cannot afford to go into the upcoming campaign without sufficient cover, especially in defence that already lacks depth.
Wesley Fofana’s long-term injury has weakened Leicester City’s options at the back, leaving Rodgers currently with the likes of Caglar Soyuncu, Jonny Evans, Daniel Amartey, and Filip Benkovic.
But with Evans on the wrong side of 30 and Benkovic lacking top-flight experience, Rodgers must address his team’s defensive conundrum as quickly as possible. In simple words, he must sign a new centre-back and Ozan Kabak could be that player.
With Schalke relegated from the Bundesliga last season, Kabak’s future at the German club remains uncertain. The centre-back struggled to get to grips in the Premier League in the first few weeks but gradually his performances for Liverpool improved. Even though he managed only 13 appearances, there were flashes of his potential.
A ball-playing centre-back with good balance and aerial ability, the Turkish international could be a smart addition to Rodgers’ side. While he is a natural defender, playing under the tutelage of Rodgers could help Kabak improve his overall game massively and unlock his true potential. The 21-year-old would certainly improve the Foxes’ squad, whilst adding much-needed depth to their defensive ranks.
However, signing Kabak alone won’t guarantee Leicester a top-four finish next season. And while the Foxes have already signed Patson Daka, Boubakary Soumare, and Ryan Bertrand, one cannot overlook the fact that the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool have further strengthened their squads.
So, Leicester would need more than Kabak in the next few weeks of the transfer window to finish in the top four.