Why this 21-year-old Turkish starlet is a player Newcastle should sign this summer


Newcastle United linked with Ozan Kabak

According to Shields Gazette, Ozan Kabak of Schalke has been linked with a move to Newcastle United again. The Turkish defender was earlier linked with a move to the Magpies in the January transfer window. But he instead joined Liverpool on a 6-month long loan deal, which expires this summer.

His parent club have been relegated from the Bundesliga and the defender is expected to leave. Liverpool had the option to buy him for £18million at the end of his loan spell and a similar arrangement is tipped to be in place for any future suitors. Although that would see the permanent buyout clause activated 12 months later rather than the 6 months that Liverpool got.

Out of contract Magpies

It is a cause for concern when half of your team’s senior centre-backs see their contract coming to an end within four weeks. And that is the case with Newcastle United currently. Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar, two experienced centre-backs in Rafael Benitez’s side, are out of contract by the end of June.

Federico Fernandez is out of contract with Newcastle United this summer. (Getty Images)
Federico Fernandez is out of contract with Newcastle United this summer. (Getty Images)

That leaves club captain Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark as the two centre-backs who would start next season for Newcastle in case the other two defenders don’t put pen to paper on a new deal. That is, of course, a big cause for concern. Kabak will offer an escape route for Benitez in such a situation.

He is rated highly

The Turkish international is just 21 years old and already has 90 senior appearances at centre-back for four clubs in three different leagues. He was at Galatasaray, where he was the Turkish champion. From there, he made his way to the Bundesliga. While most players in his age would be lucky to be a squad player, he has been a regular name in his team’s starting XI.

Then 20 years old, Kabak played against RB Leipzig in a Champions League knockout tie earlier this season. Liverpool kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win, with Klopp lauding Kabak for his performance and attitude.

When he was thrown in the deep end with Liverpool, he was impressive, so much so that the Reds themselves could have triggered his buyout clause if not for Ibrahima Konate.

The terms of transfer for Kabak

And even if fans and the Newcastle board is not convinced by Kabak, his transfer terms make this a safe situation. As mentioned above, a future deal for the Turkish defender could very well be a 12-month long loan with a buyout clause activating next summer. This would give Newcastle a one-year trial period for Kabak.

If they are impressed with him, they can very well go and trigger the option to buy him. One stumbling block mentioned by the report seems to be his £80,000-a-week wages. But that situation could be helped if even one of Dwight Gayle, Andy Carroll, Fernandez, and Schar don’t renew their deal this summer.

Ozan Kabak has already made senior appearances for the Turkish national team. (GETTY Images)
Ozan Kabak has already made senior appearances for the Turkish national team. (GETTY Images)

That is, of course, something we will only find out in the future. But this is one deal that Newcastle should look to seal. If it works out, they can have a good defender whose valuation can increase with time. If not, the Magpies can always opt to not buy him and look elsewhere. Win-win.