Liverpool Football Club have confirmed that Ibrahima Konate will make his debut for the club on Tuesday against Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart.
The Reds are in Austria for their 2021/22 pre-season preparations and after months of anticipation, fans will finally be able to see Konate in Red.
Klopp lowdown on Konate pre-season
Klopp confirmed that the Frenchman is in line to make his first Liverpool appearance to the club’s official site, saying: “Tuesday. He’s had a good rest, had a normal pre-season so far, so yeah, he can play on Tuesday.
“For Ibou it is important that he gets minutes quickly, that’s what pre-season is for.
“There are some little habits where he is doing different to what we usually do, so we work on that but that’s now not that easy because that’s only six days now.
“So, all fine, completely normal. The first few days are there to realise what is the boy doing when he is not thinking.
So, natural stuff. And then from there we start and that’s why he has to play and that’s what will happen.
“Then we will see how quickly we can get all this information together for him and then everything is fine. For a defender it’s not as difficult as it would be for other players but it’s still a job to do, and that is what we are doing.”
Liverpool have got a special player
While videos have emerged of Joel Matip getting the better of Ibrahima Konate in training, Klopp will not be worried as years of scouting the French defender have shown that he is going to be a top player.
Also, there is a massive difference between an intense five-a-side environment that is focused on counter-pressing and the situations Konate will find himself in this season for Liverpool.
Most of the former RB Leipzig star’s defending will be 1 v 1 or come in aerial duels as Liverpool’s style of play is so expansive.
At any given moment, there can be less than 50 yards between Mohamed Salah as the most advanced player and Virgil van Dijk as the deepest.
This means that the Dutchman needs to constantly be ready to defend against a counter-attack and Klopp likes his defenders to cut out the danger as quickly as possible.
Why Klopp is admired by Klopp
It’s for this reason that Konate appeals to the German because he is very much like Matip. Aggressive and front footed.
They’re both very ‘leggy’ and so don’t like to be in a situation where they’re forced to back peddle but Konate does need to learn when not to dive in.
He’s still young and left with plenty of time in which to do his learning. The Parisian is also surrounded by very talented defenders from which to learn.
RB Leipzig coaching staff believe that Konate has the potential to be the best in the world one day and if he can match these expectations, the deal to sign the 22-year-old worth €63m will be considered a bargain.