Ozan Kabak details role Virgil van Dijk is playing in his improving form
Ozan Kabak has heaped praise upon Virgil van Dijk for the impact his fellow Liverpool defender has had on his game.
Kabak joined the Reds on loan from Schalke in January, partly in order to deal with the absence of Van Dijk, who has been out injured since suffering cruciate ligament damage in October.
The 21-year-old Turkish centre-back got off to a shaky start in England, and was booked in each of his first three appearances and made a crucial mistake in the 3-1 defeat to Leicester on his debut.
But he has recently shown signs of improvement, and his deal could yet be made into a permanent one by Liverpool.
Speaking to the club's official website, Kabak revealed he has been discussing aspects of his game with Van Dijk, and said the Dutchman has been invaluable to learn from.
"He [Van Dijk] gave me small tips about our football mentality," Kabak said. "I think defenders understand each other better and he came with some small tips about how we play or what I need to do. It helps [my] game.
"I analyse every striker before the game with the video analysis. I ask the guys who work in here [for] their videos and I work on it.
"Before the game I know which foot is stronger and what the abilities are of this striker. It helps me a lot because then it's easier to guess his next movements."
Kabak is clearly a huge fan of Van Dijk, and is particularly impressed with his ability to anticipate the danger from attackers.
He added: "As a defender, I think you need to smell the danger and you need to see it before it happens.
"I don't know how it's called in English but you need to guess where's the danger and you need to go there and cover. You need to be intelligent. That's exactly what I'm trying to do but it's about experience, too, I think.
"Our friend Virgil, for example, is so good at this job. He does it very well because he's a really experienced guy and he knows this football. So I tried to do my best and game by game I think I got better on this."
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