What’s the latest transfer news involving Ibrahima Konate?
Konate will join Liverpool “soon” according to Romano, as he confirms that the Reds will complete a deal that would see the Frenchman move to Anfield on a five-year contract until June 2026 on terms that were agreed months ago.
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As previously reported by Romano in April, Liverpool will pay the 22-year-old’s release clause which is a fee in the region of €35m (roughly £30.2m).
How has Konate performed this season?
Konate has had limited game-time in the 2020/21 campaign due to injuries, however, when he has played the Leipzig defender has displayed some encouraging qualities.
According to WhoScored, he has an aerial success rate of 3.8 per 90-minutes in the Bundesliga this season. In comparison to Liverpool’s squad, he ranks third behind Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams who have both proved dominant in the air.
Previously, The Athletic’s Football Analytics Writer Tom Worville has described Konate as having the pace to fit in amid Jurgen Klopp’s high line, as well as praising his ability to carry the ball forward.
When Liverpool and Leipzig met in the Champions League last-16 tie, the Frenchman remained an unused substitute as his side were beaten 4-0 on aggregate.
Konate is set to join up with the France squad for the European U21 Championship campaign which could see him gain valuable game time ahead of a move to Merseyside.
Is Konate’s injury record a worry?
The 22-year-old has suffered with injuries throughout this season. His blotted record will surely be a concern to Klopp, who has become all too used to seeing his centre-backs on the sidelines.
According to Transfermarkt, Konate has missed 154 days of the 2020/21 campaign with a torn muscle fibre and an ankle injury, which amounts to being unavailable for 15 games.
However, perhaps there is hope that the Frenchman has overcome his previous injuries as he has remained fit for Leipzig since February.
Who could be Liverpool’s starting centre-backs next season?
Liverpool’s centre-back injury crisis has been well covered this season, though next term, they should have a number of options at the heart of their defence.
Virgil van Dijk is reportedly in line to be fit for the Reds’ preseason training which will be encouraging news for Klopp after the Dutchman also revealed that he will not be taking part in the European Championships this summer.
Joe Gomez or Joel Matip would ordinarily partner the Dutchman in Liverpool’s defence, though the arrival of Konate could make for healthy competition for places.
Phillips and Williams may find themselves way down the pecking order next season with the arrival of Konate and the return to fitness for others. Indeed, it will be intriguing to see what Klopp decides to do with the pair.
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