Ibrahima Konaté joined Liverpool FC in the summer of 2021, leading into the 2021-22 season. It was in that season that Liverpool made it into three cup finals and won the two domestic cups. They lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid and ended up coming in second in the league to Manchester City. But until the very end, Liverpool were battling on several fronts.
The excitement of that season is something fans are not likely to forget, even if in the end, the Reds only managed to win the League and FA Cups.
Understandably, it was a memorable inaugural season for the French international. The following season was underwhelming for everyone, and Liverpool ended up dropping to the Europa League as a result.
But this season, they’re back, baby! Liverpool have a lead going into the second leg of the League Cup semi-final. They’ve surpassed Arsenal to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup. They topped their Europa League group and advanced to the Round of 16. And perhaps most excitingly, they currently top the Premier League table with only one loss marring their record.
No surprise, then, that Konaté has a pleasant sense of déjà vu.
“It reminds me very much of my first season here,” he said. “There are those seasons when you’re involved in every competition and have the chance to win every trophy.
“We know at what point experience and hard work can play an important role at those moments in the season. But right now, we’re only in January. We’re top of the table but that means absolutely nothing at all.”
Their next obstacle to tackle will be AFC Bournemouth on Sunday. Former Red Dominic Solanke has been lighting up the pitch in recent weeks.
When asked about his threat, Konaté said, “It’s true that we have seen Solanke having a really good spell, particularly in the last month, where he’s scored six goals, if I remember rightly. He’s in a really good vein of form and he will be high on confidence. And so it’s now down to us, the whole team and me also as a defender, to make sure we put an end to that good run of form on behalf of our team.”
With Joel Matip out injured, Konaté is taking on more responsibility in the defense, along with captain Virgil van Dijk. So far, he’s appeared up for the challenge, and hopefully that continues despite the makeshift back line that we’ll see while Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold recover from their injuries.