Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Liverpool Competes With Arsenal & Man United For Defensive Ace: Should Klopp Move In For Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Euro United (via Sports Witness), Liverpool are among a whole host of Premier League clubs looking to secure the services of Red Bull Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate during the summer transfer window. The same source has also claimed that the Reds will face stiff competition from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United in pursuit of the Bundesliga centre-back in this offseason.

The Recent Emergence Of Ibrahima Konate

The French defensive ace came through the youth ranks of FC Sochaux before managing to establish himself as a first-team starter at the Stade Auguste Bonal. RB Leipzig decided to bring him to Germany in the summer of 2017. Konate had made just 22 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit in his debut season.

However, he has managed to grab a permanent starting berth at Leipzig in the recently concluded Bundesliga campaign. The 19-year-old has featured in 42 matches for Ralf Rangnick’s side this term and has three goals and one assist to his name across all competitions.

More importantly, Konate has made an average of 1.8 tackles, 2.1 interceptions and 4.2 clearances per game for the German side so far (Stats taken from Whoscored). He has also represented France at various youth levels but is yet to feature for Didier Deschamps’ senior team.

What Will The French Defender Add To Klopp’s Team?

Konate has decent pace, which enables him to recover when left isolated in 1v1 situations. The French centre-back has incredible strength and can be a dominating presence at both ends of the pitch. However, he is still quite raw and would need time to develop and take his game to the next level.

The Bundesliga wonderkid can also contribute by scoring a few goals from setpieces at the attacking end of the pitch. At 19, he has the energy and talent to succeed in the Premier League if given time to prove his worth at Anfield. 

Should Klopp Move In For Him This Summer?

Liverpool will undoubtedly benefit from bringing in another promising young centre-back which will also give Klopp a chance to shift Joe Gomez to the right-back position if needed as a back-up for Trent Alexander-Arnold next season. Thus, the Reds should consider luring him to Merseyside ahead of the new campaign.

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