Ozan Kabak: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 11: Ozan Kabak (22) of Turkey reacts during the UEFA Nations League B - Group 3 match between Russia and Turkey at Dinamo Stadium in Moscow, Russia on October 11, 2020. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Ozan Kabak: Profile

Name: Ozan Kabak

Date of birth: Mar 25, 2000

Nationality: Turkey

Position: CB

Height: 1.86m

Ozan Kabak: Introduction

Born in Ankara, developed in Istanbul, Ozan Kabak has developed rapidly into one of Europe's most exciting centre-halves. A ball-playing central defender, the Turkish international is an intimidating presence both in and out of possession.

Described as 'mature beyond his years,' Kabak's professionality, consistency and determination sets him apart from many young defenders. Heavily courted by clubs from a young age, Germany has moulded the Turk and refined his talent.

Ozan Kabak: Background

Born in Ankara, Turkey, Ozan Kabak's father always had a wish of playing football. Although he was unable to achieve his this, Ozan has gone on to live the dream for his father.

“My father used to play football as an amateur. However, he could not get where he wanted in football and this situation always remained as a wish. So I can say that my father supported me playing football and becoming a footballer from the very beginning,” said Kabak. “My physical education teacher also conveyed to my father that I am talented and that I need to study football in a club. My father then enrolled me in the Silivrispor infrastructure.”

Kabak left Silivrispor to join Galatasaray's youth academy when he was 11 years old. The Turkish defender spent 7 years in the academy before earning a senior call-up in May of 2018. After just 6 months, Kabak had earned solid interest from Stuttgart in Germany and he was signed for a record fee.

Yet, just 6 months later, Kabak was bought by Schalke. It was not long into his debut season with his new club that he received his first call up to the Turkish senior side. Kabak initially, with the advice of coach David Wagner, turned down his first call up due to an injury. However, when asked about earning his first senior cap said, "It would be a huge honour to represent my country."

Since, Kabak has become a full international for Turkey having played for the youth teams at under 15, 16, 17, & 18 level.

Expert insight on Ozan Kabak

"Much like his compatriot Çaglar Söyüncü’s meteoric rise from SC Freiburg talent to Leicester City stalwart, Kabak brings a blend of physical play and aerial strength, with the modern ability to build from the back with confidence on the ball."

"Mature beyond his years and a key piece for both Stuttgart and Schalke since his arrival in Germany, Kabak can read the game exceptionally well. Winning a high proportion of his duels, his anticipation and positioning serve him in good stead, as he is not the type of centre back that needs to sit deep to defend well."

"Rather adept at pressing (a hallmark in Germany), playing a higher line is more of his forte. Despite his physical attributes, he has very good recovery pace which affording him the ability to hunt down the opposition to good effect without the fear of being caught out too regularly."

Tactical Overview of Ozan Kabak

Ozan Kabak epitomises the key assets a 21st-century centre-half needs in their game. Confidence on the ball, quick decision making and a quality ball-player. Kabak can be relied upon to read danger quickly, move into the right spaces, close down opponents and legitimately win back possession.

In addition to this, when the possession has been recovered, the Turkish international uses his technical ability and confidence on the ball to drive forward into space. Thereby relieving pressure on the defence and also creating forward momentum and even possible chance creation scenarios.

An opposition player has found space outside Kabak's box. The Turkish international spots the danger.
With the back four covered by the holding midfielder, Kabak moves into the space anticipating the opponents movements and wins the ball.
Once in possession, Kabak drives forward. Relieving pressure on his teammates and into space. Eventually winning a free-kick in a threatening position.

Kabak has shown these abilities in multiple scenarios and it is not limited to purely domestic displays. When called up for Turkey, Kabak has not shied away from the demands of international football. He has translated his style competently.

The Turkish full-back Sangare is caught upfield and dispossessed. Kabak identifies the danger and moves to close down the player and make the challenge.
Having made the challenge, Kabak then advances the play upfield.
Kabak earns the Turkish side a corner in the dying minutes of the match against Germany.

Kabak's passing is strong also and combining this with his game management has led to him becoming one of Europe's highest-rated central defenders. The Turkish international has the confidence and natural ability on the ball to work in many defensive systems.

Ozan Kabak: Official video

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