Kabak’s pressing instincts
Liverpool fans are waiting eagerly to see just what new loan signing Ozan Kabak might bring to their side at the heart of the defence after the Reds ended their centre-back search with a double transfer deadline day signing of the Schalke man and Preston North End’s Ben Davies.
The Coaches’ Voice has provided a tactical analysis of the young Turk’s game.
Kabak is particularly good at straying from his team’s defensive line to compete for possession. His pressing instincts mean he effectively judges whether to retain his position, or whether to commit to a duel, cover behind a teammate or even contribute in midfield; if pressing in wider territory – particularly after blocking and forcing play away from the centre of the pitch – he also effectively uses the touchline.
His upper-body strength complements his abilities when duelling and when defending wide, when he uses his arms and when his build helps him to move across his opponent – particularly if that opponent is attempting to play the ball forwards and chase it – or to block and shield the ball until clearing or until a suitable passing option emerges.
As is perhaps to be expected of a right-footed player of his age, he is more confident when duelling and tackling with his right foot, even if that means stretching to make contact with the ball.
He is similarly authoritative in the air, where he aggressively attacks balls dropping just in front of defensive lines, defends against crosses, or challenges closer to the halfway line. With the ball at his feet he favours combining with teammates through the right inside channel, or switching play towards the left wing.
If attempting lengthier passes towards the right he targets the spaces between the opposing full-back and central defender; regardless of the target of his passes he is capable of using them to transform defence into attack. If instead playing shorter, he demonstrates a variety of pass and then continues to support possession, and at a high tempo.