2. Ozan Kabak
It’s been incredible what he’s done this year. Back in October, David Wagner spoke about how Kabak was ready, but he would have to be satisfied with the bench for a while since Salif Sane and Benjamin Stambouli had things well under control.
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A few short weeks later and Kabak was starting. You’d have thought that going from two proven veterans to a 19-year-old would show some signs of defensive setback, but that’s not been the case at all. Instead. Kabak may well have proven himself the best defender on this team, including all the injured guys.
Even if Stambouli and Sane came back tomorrow (and the season resumed), Kabak would have to be the first choice. He’s incredible no matter how he’s called on—tracking back, locking down runs, playing the ball forward, one-on-one—the guy does it all, and he does it like a seasoned professional.
Kabak went from prospect to our top defender in less than a year. That’s impressive no matter what club you’re on. And he just so happens to be at Schalke. Celebrate good times, come on.
Finally, No. 1.