JURGEN KLOPP might as well have been sitting on a film director’s chair and calling for lights, camera, action.
Having plucked wannabes Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak from obscurity, he made an immediate demand that his deadline-day signings strut their stuff on the big stage.
Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp admits signing Ben Davies from Preston is a Hollywood-style dramatic leap, but it is born from a defensive crisisCredit: PA:Press Association
Turkey centre-back Ozan Kabak has joined Liverpool on loan from SchalkeCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Klopp admitted that were it not for the rearguard crises that sees Joel Matip out for the season along with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, he would not have had to make a £500,000 down payment on Davies from Preston.
Kabak was already on his radar but he would have preferred waiting until the summer before giving the young Turk, 20, a call at Schalke.
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Now Davies, 25, and Kabak, who flew into Merseyside yesterday, are waiting in the wings for their Liverpool debuts.
Boss Klopp said: “Yes, Ozan is pretty young and Ben is coming from the Championship. They arrive here on different pathways.
“You don’t have to watch a Hollywood movie to see such stories. But I’m a big fan of chances and giving chances.
“Whatever they did before was what made me sign them. Now they must do more and playing in a team like ours can help them flourish.”
Klopp insists that when £75million Van Dijk recovers along with the man who had been his near–automatic partner in central defence, Gomez, it will be an “open race” for places.
The reality, though, is there will only be one spot up for grabs given how important Van Dijk is to the team.
Kabak, who arrives on a £1m loan deal, may have more to prove because he is coming from a team that has given up 49 goals in 19 Bundesliga games this season.
Yet he did start out at Galatasaray before moving to Stuttgart and then a £12m switch to Schalke.
Jurgen Klopp is contemplating early debuts for his two new defendersCredit: PA:Press Association
If Klopp wants to keep him at Anfield permanently after this season, he would cost a further £18m.
The Reds boss is determined to give Kabak every chance and said: “He’s had really tough years with his teams.
“But even in the struggle against relegation he has had a really good season.
“Ben is a very interesting signing, a smart footballer who knows how to defend
“Once we realised that we had to take action because of the problems we’ve had, we looked across all the leagues in Europe and in the Championship we found a very competitive player.”
It was a bizarre dream come true for Davies, who admitted: “The whole experience of signing for a club like Liverpool has been surreal.
“It’s been mad, mental, but it’s a huge opportunity.
“And once you get your head around it, I’d be silly to let it wash up or not make the most of it.”
His first opportunity is likely to come against the Seagulls and Klopp knows he has to go with the flow.
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The German added: “They are coming in at the deep end but starting together wouldn’t be too cool.
“You search for stability and we have not had that — but we don’t live in an ideal world so they will be coming in at the deep end.”
LIVERPOOL (likely): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Davies, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane.