Liverpool have agreed on personal terms with Ibrahima Konate, as we reported exclusively earlier this week, as they look to sign the Frenchman before the end of the season.
The Reds’ defensive issues have received widespread attention, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip somehow all suffering season-long injuries. The effect this has had on the club’s defence is immeasurable.
The Athletic reports that when Jurgen Klopp made ‘discreet enquiries’ over who was better between Dayot Upamecano or Ibrahima Konate, he was told to sign both.
While it’s unclear whether or not Klopp intended on signing both French centre-backs, he missed his chance to sign Upamecano when Bayern Munich swiftly wrapped up a deal to sign him for €42.5 million in the summer.
Anfield Central has been told that missing out on signing Upamecano prompted Liverpool to accelerate their interest in Konate so as not to miss out on signing both defenders.
While his injury history does raise eyebrows and his game is certainly not perfect, there is a feeling at Anfield that he has the potential to be one of the best centre-backs in Europe.
Playing and training alongside Virgil van Dijk will certainly help him develop and raise his game. His passing is one of his weakest points as he can often be too careful with his pass selection and while he rarely panics under pressure, he would need to learn to take more risks at Liverpool.
Aerially, Konate has virtually no peer. Not only does he stand at 6ft4, he has a massive leap and is as strong as they come, with the defender reportedly weighing in at 95kg.
A partnership between Konate and van Dijk would be incredible to watch and it seems highly unlikely that the pair would concede from set-pieces or from crosses from open play.