Preseason has kicked off, and the Liverpool players are all in scenic Austria, kicking a ball around in a training ground that looks straight out of The Sound of Music. Among the players is the Reds’ newest defender, Ibrahima Konaté.
This is great news for all Liverpool fans, because last season’s nightmare scenario of defender after defender getting taken down with injury.
One person who is understandably excited about working with Konaté is manager Jürgen Klopp. During the first week of preseason, Klopp talked to the official site about his excitement at meeting the player for the first time in person and getting to work with him.
“He is a good guy, he is really happy to be here,” Klopp said. “I’m really happy to have him around. He is a young boy still, unbelievably young, but experienced already. [He] played some really good stuff in the past and hopefully even better stuff in the future.
“But for him it’s now the first pre-season with us as well, we don’t know a lot about the player, that’s always how it is with new players. So we try to be careful as well, try to be in constant conversations with him about how he feels and these kinds of things. It’s a completely normal process and yeah, [it’s] really good to have him here.”
One of the many benefits of getting a new player into the team for a full preseason is that extra time adjusting to the new city, new language, new teammates and new style of play. Konaté has plenty of time to learn the ropes, and with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez potentially ready to play when the season begins, Klopp will hopefully get to work him into the team at a pace that works the best for Konaté.