Journalist Guido Schafer (former teammate of Jürgen Klopp at Mainz too!), who covers our opponents for tonight RB Leipzig, recently spoke to the Liverpool Echo about one Ibrahima Konate. There’s a Virgil van Dijk comparison in that headline, so yeah, there’s plenty of hyping up being done in that piece. New York Times journalist Rory Smith had previously hinted that Liverpool FC were looking at a certain RB Leipzig central defender on The Guardian’s Football Weekly, and that it likely wasn’t Dayot Upamecano (who seems like he’s going to Bayern Munich anyway). Further rumours from The Mirror and Bild have added more smoke to the fire.
Anyways, here’s what Guido had to say about Ibrahima’s traits:
I think the release clause is €40m. It is a really good price for the player - he is only 21 years old and he is as good as Dayot Upamecano when he is fit. They are absolutely at the same level. He is tall, fast, good technique and he is a little bit of Virgil van Dijk.
He has very high-class potential. He is a great athlete, he has good speed and there are no silly tackles - he is an intelligent player. And in the 100 metres, Konate is the fastest player in RB Leipzig.It is a potentially world-class package.
He is really good in passing and that is from Julian Nagelsmann - he needs players who can pass. Konate is the right player for [teams who play out from the back] and for Liverpool.
On whether Konate would be keen to make the switch to Merseyside:
If Klopp will come and say ‘come to the Anfield Road’, I think Konate will say ‘yes’,” Schafer added. Liverpool is one of the most famous clubs in the world and the crisis is not nice for the Reds and for Kloppo but when Kloppo says ‘come to us’, Ibrahima will say ‘yes, I want it, I love you’.
There are many clubs watching Konate but one big thing is the consistency - he has to be fit and play every match. It is very important that he is fit every week. He had an injury around a year and a half ago and afterwards, he has not been in his real shape. Now, he is fit but not 100 per cent and he needs practice. They are just unlucky injuries but it is a worry for other clubs. When he is playing, he is playing really well, but he missed 40 matches in the last three years.
The injury history is a concern, especially after this trauma-filled season. But if Ibrahima is indeed Mikey Edwards and Klopp’s guy, then yes, I love him too.