Trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano has again confirmed that Ibrahima Konate is set to move to Liverpool after he reported last week that a £30.5million deal has been agreed.
Reporting for the Guardian, Romano wrote: “Liverpool are set to sign the French central defender Ibrahima Konaté from RB Leipzig.”
Now, after being asked on Twitter for an update on Konate to Liverpool, Romano said that after he said his catchphrase ‘Here We Go’ last week, the massive French defender is ‘going to Liverpool.’
This aligns with everything we’ve been told. Konate’s move to Anfield is a formality at this point and barring any major issues, he will be a Liverpool player in the summer and will be able to bed in nicely with a full pre-season sure to help him settle in at Kirkby.
Liverpool are signing a player with massive potential and while I cannot wait to see what kind of partnership he’ll be able to form with Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the defence, I’m more excited about something else.
As we’ve seen with Alex Telles’ switch to Old Trafford, Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw’s performances were radically transformed as the Englishman realised his position at left-back was under threat and no longer guaranteed.
Joe Gomez, who was already performing at an extremely high level before his knee injury, will be forced to operate at consistently higher levels than Konate in order to start alongside van Dijk.
As much as the Dutchman will tell you that he also needs to compete with the other defenders at Liverpool, there isn’t a player at the club or in the world that could displace him from the starting XI and so the battle will be on to see who partners him.
𝗕𝗶𝗴 𝗩𝗶𝗿𝗴 🤩
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 29, 2021
That said, there’s a small chance Jurgen Klopp switches his tactics up from time to time to accommodate all three defenders.
At RB Leipzig, Julian Nagelsmann has his team set up in a 3-1-4-2 and while that variation of a back three formation wouldn’t suit Liverpool’s available players, a 3-4-3 could work but it would place a huge workload on Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.
A back three of van Dijk in the left centre back role, Konate in the centre and Joe Gomez on the right-hand side would be an incredible defensive unit.
While Jurgen Klopp is more than capable of coaching a defensive unit, you have to wonder what a coach like Diego Simeone could accomplish with a centre back trio like that.
Having said that, defenders like van Dijk and Gomez excel in 1 v 1 scenarios where their pace and power are advantageous. Defending in a low block is a different ball game altogether.
Either way, I’ve never been so excited to see defenders play football.