The run down on Ibrahima Konate

Early on Monday morning came the announcement via The Athletic that Liverpool have their sights on RB Leipzig central defender Ibrahima Konate, with a price of €40 million circulating around the prospect. 

Born in Paris, Konate began his career at FC Paris and spent years developing in their academy before joining French side Sochaux in 2014. 

He signed for RB Leipzig, a club consistently barking up new young talent in 2017, and after learning his trade, he enjoyed a successful season under Ralph Hassenhuttl in 2018-19. 

After back to back seasons at the back for Leipzig, he played 43 games in one season where he helped his side to the final of the DFB Pokal and finish third in the Bundesliga. 

However, (Incoming warning) a string of injuries have minimised his impact in the side during the past 19 months, where he has only played 17 times. Even the recent Champions League round of 16 tie against Liverpool seen him left on the bench in both fixtures. 

  • But what can Liverpool expect? 

Konate is a clear modern day centre half, and has always played on the right of the defence or in a back three. His attributes would compliment that of both Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez well. 

He is 6 foot 4 inches tall and a physical presence in the air, and in the Bundesliga has formed a well developed partnership with Dayot Upamacano. 

It has been stated of the pair that they're both good flat track bullies, and when allowed time to play and dictate games they shine. Although, as Liverpool seen first hand in the European cup, when playing against the best the pair tend to fall short. 

In 2020, Robert Lewandowski stated – “Leipzig have two really good centre-backs in Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate". A striker who Konate has came up against multiple times. 

If the signature of the Frenchman is landed then Liverpool will have a heavily increased wage bill on their hands at the back. The loan deal of Ozan Kabak may be looked at to an increased permanent one, depending on the run in of this campaign and with Joel Matip still knocking about Jurgen Klopp has decisions to make. 

It is quite clear that the Reds definitely need a centre half in the summer, the unreliable nature of Matip and Gomez progresses this to needing one urgently. 

Konate could adapt Liverpool's style into a three at the back formation next season, and give even more license to both full backs, plus with the ongoing exit of Wijnaldum two midfielders could be more favourable. 

The player is only 21 years old, and with the influence of Van Dijk can strive onto become the Reds' centre back for the best part of a decade. It is certainly a risk from Liverpool, who will always look to develop players rather than by the ready made package. So far Leipzig have a good history of players looking good and then flattering to deceive at other clubs. 

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