Report: Jurgen Klopp could hand first-ever start to €63.2m ace vs. Leeds United

The Mirror reports that Ibrahima Konate could be handed his Premier League debut by Jurgen Klopp this weekend when Liverpool face Leeds.

Mark Taylor, reporting for the Mirror, suggests that the Reds could make as many as four changes this weekend as FIFA’s ban forces Klopp’s hand.

Alisson Becker and Fabinho are banned as is Roberto Firmino but the forward is injured so would have been absent regardless.

Caoimhin Kelleher is set to start in Alisson’s place and while Virgil van Dijk suffered a dislocated finger and was on the receiving end of a heavy challenge against Turkey, he appears to have come through unscathed.

van dijk

Yet, the Mirror reports he could be partnered with Ibrahima Konate, who will cost the Reds €63.2million (£54.2m) over the next five years as part of a package deal including his wages.

The report glosses over why Joel Matip would be dropped so unceremoniously by Jurgen Klopp after the Cameroonian pocketed €115m forward Romelu Lukaku at Anfield before the international break.

It would be great to see Konate make his debut but it would be very odd to see Matip dropped to the bench when he has, by all accounts, been flawless so far this season.

matip lukaku

After the turbulence Liverpool had at centre-back last season, it would be odd for Klopp to chop and change his defensive partnerships especially when Matip and van Dijk have such a good understanding.

Konate is only 22 so time is on his side and there is no rush to get him into the side and there is no reason to drop Matip from the side especially just as the fixture list is about to get so congested.

Both Konate and Joe Gomez will get the opportunities they crave but I will be very surprised if the Mirror is correct and Konate gets the nod this weekend.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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