It’s been quite the week for Liverpool FC and Ibrahima Konate rumours. Since the initial news from David Ornstein broke last week, reports have run the whole gamut from HE’S DOING A PHYSICAL RIGHT NOW DURING INTERNATIONAL DUTY, to uh, actually Liverpool won’t sign him because they can get Ozan Kabak for cheaper.
In an interview with the Liverpool ECHO, Goal.com journalist and Bundesliga expert Ronan Murphy was of the opinion that Liverpool would probably sign both Konate and Kabak when asked how the former compared to the latter, and if a Konate signing would affect Kabak’s future at the club:
He’s probably very similar to Kabak but a better, if less fit, player. Both have huge potential, so it wouldn’t be a surprise for Liverpool to sign both and have options.
That probably makes more sense considering Kabak has already looked impressive in his outings so far, and seems to have the physical traits to play the high line that the team wants to employ when at full strength. He would have already been integrated in the system and can be nabbed for a relatively affordable fee. Konate’s signing would still make sense because Matip may not ever be reliable enough to be 3rd or 4th choice again, and there is a need to add bodies to the centre-back group. (I’m convinced Ben Davies is a hologram at this point, so he doesn’t count.)
Murphy also chimed in on the potential signing of Konate:
(On his playing style) He’s very fast, and good one-on-one. Clever off the ball, he will cut out passing lanes and take up good positions to save making tackles and getting involved in duels.
(On Konate’s temperament and approach to the game) He’s a smart young player who comes from a family who value education. While many young players just focus on football, he completed his school exams and passed his driving test while playing in France and Germany.
(On Konate’s suitability to be VVD’s partner compared to Gomez and Matip) He looks like he could be a perfect partner for Van Dijk as he’s right sided and Virgil’s strengths will help improve his own game. Konate isn’t the best passer, but playing alongside Van Dijk, he would not need to be.