Ozan Kabak is one of the hottest prospects in Turkish football right now.
The young centre back has impressed after featuring heavily this season at the centre of Galatasaray’s defence.
The 18-year-old has been on form in domestic and European competition, and his impressive performances have led to surprise interest from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Inter. The youngster has proved a solid modern day centre half with a strong defensive game complemented by his composure and ability to pass out from the back.
Here’s a look at some things you might not know about the rising star ahead of the January transfer window.
4. He Is a Youth Product of the Galatasaray Academy
Kabak has exclusively played for Galatasaray for his entire professional career, and came through their academy as a youngster.
He joined the Istanbul giants in 2011 when he was just 11 and went on to sign his first professional contract (which expires in 2020) with the club in July 2017.
3. He Is the Youngest MOTM in the Champions League
Kabak is the joint second youngest player to start in a Champions League game this season alongside Jadon Sancho, as the two share the same birthday.
The Turkish defender has played two games for the full 90 minutes and been included in the match day squad in the other two, despite playing no part from the bench.
He is also the youngest player so far this season to pick up a man of the match award at the top level of European club football, which he did in Galatasaray’s 0-0 home draw with Schalke 04.
2. He Was Named in UEFA’s ’10 to Watch’ at the Under-17 Euros
Kabak was named as one of the ten players to watch out for during the Under-17 European Championships, alongside Manchester City’s Phil Foden and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
Kabak’s native Turkey made it to the semi finals of the competition, where they lost to England 2-1.
The defender, who has captained Turkey at various youth levels, has played 50 games across four age groups for his country, and has scored ten goals – one of which came in the U17 tournament group stages.
1. He Only Played One Minute of Senior Football Before This Season
Kabak’s meteoric rise has been quite astonishing considering he played just a single minute for Galatasaray in his first professional season.
This campaign he has started and completed a full 90 minutes in ten competitive fixtures for the Turkish side, as well as featuring for several substitute appearances.