Klopp's character reference for City new boy
- Credit: PA
Ozan Kabak arrived at Norwich City with a glowing character reference from Jurgen Klopp, but Daniel Farke is in no rush to blood his new Turkish international.
Kabak was the final signing of a busy summer transfer window, after sealing a season long loan, with a buy option, from Schalke.
The powerhouse centre back spent part of last season at Liverpool, and Farke revealed on Friday he consulted Klopp before the Canaries’ made their move.
“Yes, I spoke with Jurgen Klopp about this topic because we have quite a good relationship and he was also full of praise for Ozan,” said Farke, who takes his side to Arsenal on Saturday in the Premier League.
“Once you have the likes of (Virgil) van Dijk and (Joe) Gomez back fit, and you are able to bring in a player like (Ibrahima) Konate, then it's also difficult for a 20 year old player to be ahead of them.
“I can totally understand why Jurgen, right now, saw van Dijk as a bigger solution for Liverpool. We are happy to have him. His reputation in the game is high and it is remarkable a self-funded club like us could get this deal done.
"I am sure once he is adapted to our style, once he settles in, once his fitness is where it needs to be we will have a major player on our hands.”
Kabak played his first competitive minutes since April in Turkey’s midweek 6-1 World Cup defeat to the Netherlands.
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The youngster played the second half after his country were reduced to 10 men.
“That was more or less his only competitive minutes in the last months,” said the City chief. “If it would be that easy then my job would be to buy some players, give them some warm words and wish them luck on the pitch.
"We have to be more careful. Thursday was the first day he arrived, and the first day with a new group. It is tricky to be fully settled in.
"Of course he is a player full of potential but also still a young player and his last league game was in April for Liverpool, because he missed all the final games due to injuries.
"He had a part of pre-season with Schalke but in the negotiations for the last two weeks he was not involved in team training."
“Mathias Normann had a proper pre-season and was involved in some league games and he played 60 minutes in two separate qualifiers.
"He's in a relatively good position in terms of his fitness but the same as Ozan in that Thursday was his first day.
"It is not easy to then go into a crucial role at the heart of our team in the central midfield.
"They will help us in the mid to long term, but how quick we can throw them in we will have to judge. But they are good players, they are intelligent players.”