Liverpool new comer Ozan Kabak and Virgil van Dijk may not have been playing for the same club over the years, but they have grown into good friends and putting smile on each other’s faces.
Kabak received a shirt from Virgil van Dijk in 2018 and it turns out the Liverpool star was keeping close tabs on the club’s new arrival.
The Turkish international’s loan deal from Schalke until the end of the season was confirmed on Deadline Day.
He arrives amid an injury crisis at Anfield which has Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip out of action in the back line.
While Kabak may not get the chance to share the pitch with the Dutchman, they do have a bit of history from three years ago.
In 2018, when the Turk was with Superlig side Galatasaray, he received a signed shirt from the Reds’ No.4.
Accompanying the famous red kit, Van Dijk wrote with his signature: “To Ozan. All the best
He received this for Christmas from the Dutchman – and it was all down to a mutual friend.
According to Turkish outlet sporx, Liverpool’s star centre-back enquired about Kabak through then-Galatasaray team-mate Omer Bayram.
Both players were born in the Dutch city of Breda and grew up together, keeping in touch through their careers.
The Dutchman watched his pal’s side lose 3-2 to Porto in the Champions League in 2018 – but Kabak put in a strong performance
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Kabak named the £75m man as his role model earlier this year, saying: “My personal aim is to become a top defender in maybe two or three years, like Virgil van Dijk.
“He’s my idol, I really like him. I like his style and how he plays, so I can say he’s my football idol.”
With Van Dijk among the injured Liverpool stars, Kabak could get thrown straight into the starting XI.