Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Liverpool Eyeing A Move For This Bundesliga Defender: What Will He Add To Klopp’s Side?

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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.

In a recent interview with Bild, renowned journalist Christian Falk has revealed that Liverpool are eyeing a move for Red Bull Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konaté. Falk said (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), “Upamecano is at the top of the list of many top clubs and of course that includes Liverpool.

“Bayern Munich are also an option, but it’s going to be hard to go that way, so they look at other players.

“They do not even look that far, just to the side of Upmecano at his teammate (Konate).

“They (Liverpool) have become aware of the value of his contract, which runs until 2023, and he would be financially affordable for Liverpool.

“He is also very, very interesting in terms of playing style, which is similar, so they could be one of the teams to take him to the island.”

Konate’s Impressive Season At Leipzig Thus Far

The French centre-back has experienced a solid campaign at the Red Bull Arena so far after putting in a string of commanding performances at the heart of the Leipzig backline. Konate has participated in nine matches for the German outfit this term, netting one goal and picking up two yellow cards on all fronts.

Despite missing a handful of matches because of a hip problem, the Paris-born defensive ace has done well to average 1.1 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 1.9 clearances and 0.6 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League group stages this season. The 21-year-old has also distributed possession relatively well out from the back as he has completed 84.4% of his attempted passes in both those competitions (stats via whoscored).

Liverpool eyeing a move for Ibrahima Konaté who is seen in the picture
Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar (R) vies for the ball with Leipzig’s French defender Ibrahima Konate during the UEFA Champions League Group H second-leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and RB Leipzig at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on November 24, 2020. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The French Centre-Half Add To Jurgen Klopp’s Team?

Standing at 1.94m, Konate is a towering presence inside his half and can use his strong frame to dominate the aerial battle with the opposition attackers. He possesses incredible strength to outmuscle the opponent and can make some crucial clearances for his team.

The Frenchman can read the danger quickly and is a decent tackler of the ball as well. He is also a good ball-playing centre-back as he got the composure to play his way out from the back. However, the jury is still out on whether Konate will be able to cope with the high intensity of English football if Liverpool can get him on board this winter.

The France Under-21 international is a player on the rise and will only get better with each season. Therefore, the Reds will do well to snap him up during the January transfer window as he will be a decent signing for them in the long-run.

There is no denying that Konate has got what it takes to form a dominant defensive partnership with either Joel Matip or Fabinho in the second half of this campaign. Plus, Jurgen Klopp could be the ideal manager to nurture his development by getting the best out of him in the coming seasons. All in all, Klopp should engineer a move to bring Konate to Merseyside but only if he is available for the right price next month.

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