Liverpool FC fans are rightly excited for the signing of Ibrahima Konaté. Thanks to the plethora of scouting reports, we all know he is a player who has a bevy of experience despite his young age, and still has immense potential to grow into. But while fans now know what to expect from the player known as Ibu, not many know about him as a person.
Here at TLO towers, we are lucky enough to have a resident Red Bull Leipzig expert, Elwood. He was kind enough to answer some questions about the person behind the player so we can all get to know Ibu a little better.
Gabe: What is Ibu’s personality type? Is he a jokester like Ox? More of a laid back and chill guy like Joe Gomez? Or is he a leader/cheerleader more like Jordan Henderson?
Elwood: Ibu is a fun, lovable, and extremely humble gentle giant. Rising to fame at Leipzig he was happy to be a sidekick to Upamecano who was more naturally prone to find himself in the spotlight. From the outside it’s easy to see just how good of a cheerleader Konate is, but it’s important not to overlook his impressive track record in leadership, captaining French Youth National Teams from U16 up to U21.
I’ve seen a lot of articles describing how Ibu seems a perfect fit for Klopp stylistically, and that’s very true. But to me how well he fits with Klopp’s personality is just as important. As much as I love a shithouse like Bellamy or Robbo on the squad, Klopp’s focus on the people he signs, not just the players, has led to an almost unbelievable amount of lovable individuals currently plying their trade at Anfield. Whether Konate will help us retain our Fair Play Title for a 6th consecutive season, we’ll have to wait and see, but I have no doubts that he will quickly win over the hearts of LFC supporters because he’s the type of guy who’s just impossible not to love.
Gabe: Ok, really important question here. Where does his fashion choices land on a scale of Fabinho (it’s still the 90’s, right?) to Bobby Firmino (an icon who will not be fully appreciated for decades to come)?
Elwood: He was born and raised in the heart of Paris. He’s got to be near the top of the list.
(Check out one of his fresh looks below, and check out more on instagram)
Gabe: You are the most knowledgeable person I know about rap. What do you make of his listening choices?
Elwood: Lots of Drake, Bad Bunny, DaBaby. Pretty standard for a guy in his early 20s I think. That said, he’s the type of guy who could quote more lines from Dragon Ball Z than he could from Certified Lover Boy.
Editor’s note: Konaté’s twitter feed is filled with anime
Bonus question - What/who should we be listening to?
Elwood: I’ve been really digging Belly’s newest single IYKYK. Very excited for a new album from him. Sa-Rac released a Deluxe version of her latest album, The Sharecropper’s Daughter, which includes a track with an MF DOOM feature. So for those of you who haven’t been following Sa-Roc, give her a listen for sure.
Gabe: A final question, somewhat actually focused on footy. Will he ever learn to head the ball on offensive corners?
Elwood: Offensive headers, like you mention, and passing out of the back are the two areas where Konate is still somewhat unproven. I give Konate a lot of slack on the long passing because Upamecano was just so ridiculously good at it that his defensive partners rarely attempted long passes, opting to just give the ball to him instead. But the development of Ibu’s passing game will be something for fans to keep an eye on.
Will he learn to improve in these areas? I’d say that practicing with Virgil Van Dijk every day will probably do a lot of good in terms of distribution, and who better to teach you about offensive headers than Alisson Becker?
Well there you have it folks! Ibu is an easygoing, fashion forward person who is big into anime. Thanks to Elwood for taking the time to tell us a little bit about Ibu as a person!