Liverpool have officially signed Ibrahima Konate after working hard since February to get all the details in place, including his wages.
The 6ft4 giant will partner Virgil van Dijk for the 2021/22 season after an agreement was reached between Liverpool and RB Leipzig over a deal worth a total of £54.2million, including the player’ wages.
The Reds have agreed to pay £36million to secure Konate after three months worth of talks and the France U21 star will earn a total of £18.1million over five years.
It’s not clear yet what number he will wear for the Reds but that will be decided in due course once he wraps his international commitments up and is able to travel to Merseyside and visit Kirkby and Anfield.
He played just 695 minutes in the Bundesliga this season due to sitting out the first half of the season due to rehabilitation from a muscle fibre tear.
Following that, he was down in the pecking order but his stats during his limited time this season are hugely impressive.
According to Squawka, he has a higher aerial duel success rate than any Liverpool defender and that includes van Dijk. Of course, the Dutchman only played 371 league minutes but that’s not much worse than the 695 that Konate played.
In fact, between Konate, van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, they played a combined total of 2346 minutes due to respective injuries.
For reference, FWA Footballer of the Year, Ruben Dias, played 2845 minutes in the Premier League this season, winning the title with Manchester City.
We reported on the 11th of May that Liverpool are signing Ibrahima Konate with the view to bringing him straight into the starting XI.
This is unusual under normal circumstances because Jurgen Klopp prefers to slowly give his new signings the chance to find their footing before throwing them in the deep end.
The German manager does this because it’s easy for players from different countries, leagues and teams to struggle with Liverpool’s tactics initially and he wants to avoid knocking their confidence which can have a long-term effect.
We’ve seen him do this with Andy Robertson, Naby Keita and more. Konate, however, will go straight into the starting lineup so that the club can give Joe Gomez the time required to recover fully from his patellar tendon surgery.
They don’t want to rush Gomez so that he can avoid undergoing a fifth operation since joining Liverpool in 2015 from Charlton Athletic.
With Konate’s arrival and with Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk expected back for the start of the 2021/22 Premier League season, the Merseysiders will once again contend for the league title.
Manchester City were great this season but their levels weren’t as high as they were in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons when they reached 100 and 97 points which has a lot to do with Liverpool not pushing them all the way.
Next season will be sensational as both sides reinforce their sides and enjoy the first full pre-season June 2019.