Liverpool bolster defence as Premier League window shuts | Daily News

Liverpool bolster defence as Premier League window shuts

Ozan Kabak
Ozan Kabak

London: Liverpool finally bolstered their defensive options by signing Schalke's Ozan Kabak and Preston's Ben Davies before the Premier League transfer window slammed shut on Monday.

Meanwhile, Premier League champions' Japanese attacking midfielder Takumi Minamino left for Southampton on loan until the end of the season in one of the few moves between Premier League clubs on a quiet deadline day.

The January window is regarded as a sellers' market and often a time for stop-gap measures but Liverpool were forced to act.

Ben Davies

The champions are missing all of their senior central defenders, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip out of action.

Fabinho, who had impressed at centre-back after moving from his usual midfield position, recently joined the injured list while Captain Jordan Henderson, who usually plays in midfield, has been forced to deputise at the back. Japanese international Minamino departed Anfield for Southampton in a surprise move allowed to be completed after the window shut because the Saints had submitted the necessary paperwork in time.

“I am very pleased to welcome Takumi to our squad for the rest of this season,” Southampton Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said in club statement issued two hours after the deadline.

“He will help provide another good attacking option, and is importantly the right profile of player for us.”

“This will give us some additional depth in our squad at an important time.”

Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp had been suggesting for several weeks that a replacement centre-back would be a major lift for his team.

Klopp got his wish at last as the Reds brought in two defenders in the final hours of the transfer window.

Kabak joined on loan until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.

The 20-year-old arrives after two years in the Bundesliga, where he played for Stuttgart before joining Schalke in July 2019.

He previously gained Champions League experience at Galatasaray and has won seven caps for Turkey.

Davies, 25, signed for an initial fee believed to be 500,000, plus future add-ons.

Klopp conceded signing a relatively unknown player from the second tier was a move forced by financial restraints of the pandemic and Liverpool's injury woes.

Relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion signed Turkey midfielder Okay Yokuslu on loan from Celta Vigo until the end of the season.

West Brom also agreed a deal with Arsenal to take the versatile Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan until the end of this term.

Newcastle signed Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock on loan for the rest of the season while Magpies' right-back DeAndre Yedlin joined Galatasaray in a permanent deal. AFP