Ozan Kabak was brought in as an emergency reinforcement this past January to help Liverpool cope with a rash of injuries in central defense. Despite his contributions in helping the Reds to an unlikely third-place Premier League finish, Liverpool opted not to make his loan permanent over the summer.
However, the Turkish defender soon found himself plying his trade in the Premier League once again after Schalke 04 loaned him to Norwich City at the end of the summer Transfer window.
Speaking to talkSPORT yesterday, the 21-year-old showed no hard feelings towards the Reds for not signing him to a permanent deal. Instead, he opted to heap praises on Jürgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk.
“I enjoyed working with him and I feel very proud to know him,” Kabak said of Klopp. “He’s very special, he’s a very good man-manager. Hopefully, our ways cross in the future.”
As for van Dijk, while Kabak didn’t get a chance to play alongside the Dutchman while he recovered from an ACL tear, he was still able to learn from Liverpool’s defensive anchor by simply being around him.
I really like Virgil van Dijk. I played with him in training sessions on the pitch. I really like him, his styles, his abilities. He’s my role model as a player,” admitted Kabak.
“Last year he wasn’t playing but he was in the dressing room all the time and we had conversations about playing. He gave me a lot of tips on how to play.”
Kabak will hope to put those tips to use as he tries to help the canaries stave off relegation this year. It’s sure to be a challenge as the Canaries sit on just two points in nine matches, including a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea today.