'A major coup' - The inside track on City newboy Ozan Kabak
- Credit: PA
Ozan Kabak is the cherry on top of Norwich City's transfer window cake after completing a move to Norfolk earlier this week.
Bundesliga commentator Dan O'Hagan believes the Turkish international would have had a vast selection of clubs to choose from this summer and described City's signing of the 21-year-old as a 'major coup'.
City's search for a centre back rumbled on throughout the window until an opportunity emerged to sign Kabak from Schalke. When that presented itself, they pounced and secured the services of the highly-rated defender.
Kabak spent the second half of last season on loan at Liverpool under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp - but he does have two relegations in three years on his CV from his time in Germany.
That said, O'Hagan believes City have recruited an extremely talented, modern defender and has praised the club for their ability to look past the potential drawbacks that surround Kabak after spells at Stuttgart and Schalke.
"In Ozan Kabak, Norwich City are getting a very modern defender and a very experienced defender at a good level given his age.
"I wouldn't be too worried by the relegations on his CV because Norwich are getting a player who, in many ways like Milot Rashica, was on the radar of a lot of big clubs but then just dropped his levels a bit but there is a player there who has real pedigree and potential.
- 1 NCFC LIVE: Sixth successive loss for Canaries
- 2 Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from the Canaries' 2-0 defeat at Everton
- 3 Farke reveals Tzolis' 'punishment' for penalty gaffe
- 4 STARTING XIs: Two changes for City at Everton
- 5 Robin Sainty: Not the reaction City boss hoped for...
- 6 Canaries keeper sent out on loan
- 7 Farke on Everton loss and key penalty call
- 8 Hanley will answer City critics
- 9 PRESSER: Everton v City - Rashica a doubt; Normann and Sargent fit
- 10 Godfrey had out-grown City's Championship quest
"Whilst playing in two poor teams for both Stuttgart and Schalke, he was the standout player. In the last two years, he's developed physically and is much more built now. With his feet, he is a very good, assured defender. He's an important player for Turkey.
"He's still a work in progress but Kabak could have had his pick at several clubs, so for Norwich City to get him is a big tick for their work in this window. For me, Kabak is maybe the most surprising and standout of any of them."
Kabak came through the ranks at Galatasaray, where he was playing Champions League football aged just 18.
Despite his loan spell at Liverpool coming through necessity, many Reds fans were hoping the club would take up their option of making the deal permanent this summer. Torino and Newcastle were also said to have been interested in the defender, so why did Kabak elect to join Norwich?
He may be highly rated and arrive at Carrow Road with a sizeable reputation, but City have timed their run to perfection to land Kabak at a point where he may have slipped off the radar of other potential suitors.
"There is a case that clubs are scared off by a player who has two relegations in the space of three years on their CV," O'Hagan said.
"There was some bad press about his performances at Liverpool, I thought he did okay. It's like Rashica, This is a player who, two or three years ago, was the hipster's footballer. He was the guy that everyone wanted.
"But because of Schalke's problems and Stuttgart's relegation, he went under the radar a little bit. He wasn't forgotten by Norwich or Stuart Webber but for other clubs, other players had come along and overtaken him. I think most clubs thought 'here is a guy who has been relegated twice, is there something wrong with him?'
"I don't think there is. What Norwich have done is almost cut through all the noise about relegations and last season's loan spell with Liverpool not being that successful. Kabak was playing in the Champions League at 18, he's that assured a player."
Kabak was City's 11th and final incoming player for this year's summer transfer window and means the Canaries have strengthened all the positions they identified after their club-record winning Championship season.
Among them was centre back, with options from Kristoffer Ajer to Gary Cahill being considered. In the end, the patience they displayed has allowed them to sign a player they feel represents more quality.
When asked if he was surprised to see Kabak join Norwich, O'Hagan replied: 'Yes, to be honest.
"I thought he'd be a player on the radar of Europa League clubs, or maybe even one or two in the Champions League.
"For Norwich to get him is an enormous coup. We've seen Stuart Webber pull off some terrific business. Rashica and Sargent weren't going to be touted with big moves after last season. Kabak is the one for me. He could have had the pick of clubs at a higher level than Norwich.
"Webber and Farke have sold him the club really well. He's bought into what they've told him and the potential Norwich have. He is an ambitious young lad and will want to succeed. He may see Norwich as a stepping stone," O'Hagan said.
"I was surprised to see Norwich get him, but now he's here I hope the fans get to enjoy him."