Journalist Emmet Gates is surprised by how long it took Ibrahima Konate to become a Premier League regular at Liverpool.
Konate made a second consecutive start as the Reds were made to settle for a 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend.
What’s the latest news involving Konate?
Konate joined Liverpool after the Merseysiders agreed to pay the £36million release clause which had been inserted into the defender’s RB Leipzig contract.
It was thought that Konate, who won the last of his 13 international caps for the France under-21s in May, would become Virgil van Dijk’s partner at the heart of Liverpool’s defence following the Dutchman’s July return from a knee injury which had kept him on the sidelines for nine months.
But Konate was made to wait until September for his first taste of Premier League football as he came into the starting line-up for the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, with Klopp later stating the centre-half has yet to fully adapt to Liverpool’s style of play.
What has Emmet Gates said about Konate?
Gates is shocked that Konate has had to bide his time after making the big-money move to Anfield.
He told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s an odd one because he was Liverpool’s only signing and they paid £36million for him.
“He hardly kicked a ball in the opening part of the season.
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“Before the season started, we knew Virgil van Dijk was returning so it was going to be van Dijk plus one.
“Whoever that plus one is would be between Matip, Joe Gomez and Konate.
“I thought it was likely to be Konate considering he was Liverpool’s only signing.”
Why were Liverpool keen to sign Konate?
Konate was a Klopp target due to boasting vast amounts of experience, having fallen just five outings short of 100 RB Leipzig appearances prior to his move.
Although he had never been put through the rigours of the Premier League, Konate switched to Anfield after being involved in Bundesliga fixtures 66 times.
However, last season was not such a memorable period for Konate as ankle and muscle problems played a key role in him being restricted to just 21 outings in all competitions.