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25 May 2021 12:11:29
I must admit that I don't know a great deal about Konate, other than that his name has been a recurring theme in this forum for most of the last season.

My question to those who are more familiar is whether we're signing potential here or a top level centre back who is going to walk straight into the team alongside van Dijk?

I don't believe Konate is a full international yet is he? I know he's only 22 but if he is really good already I'd expect him to be in or around the France squad already.

And he was on the bench when we played Leipzig in the Champions League. Was that because he was coming back from injury, or is he actually their third choice centre half?

If he comes good, then this signing could become a bargain over the next ten years. But for the sort of money involved, I think I'd be more comfortable if he was a couple of years older and already established as a full international.

Agree0 Disagree0

25 May 2021 12:28:04
Ibrahima Konate:

Defensively he is good, very good in the air and has a bit of aggression about him. His tackling can sometimes be a bit wild and erratic, but he’s young and this is something that can be coached out of him. Positionally he’s sound, he reads the game well and in moments when he doesn’t his recovery pace and strength is a massive asset.

His actually footballing ability is very good, he’s capable of bribing the ball out of the back to start attacks and is more than capable of passing it comfortably to players in better positions or to players looking to break at pace. He has a tendency to look off balance (similar to sakho) but he’s very assured on the ball.

I think as long as his injuries don’t hinder his development we’ll have a quality CB joining us that can go on to develop into one of the top top CB’s in the coming years.

25 May 2021 12:29:25
He was coming back from injury against us and i wouldn't worry about the French Cap, Laporte never got a game for them and he is ok lol, should be a class signing if he stays fit.

25 May 2021 12:31:18
I've read he was rated as a better player than Upamecano. Apparently the only reason he's being sold for less is because of his injury record (only 8 league starts last season) . He looks good on the ball, very quick, strong in the air etc. I've only seen highlights so not sure what he's like in terms of positional awareness. He does look naturally better suited to us than Matip or Phillips. He'll definitely give Gomez a problem holding onto his starting berth. He can also play right back too.

He has been fit since about February now so maybe he's over his problems. Fingers crossed any underlying issues will be identified in the medical and we'll pull the plug if it's not worth the financial risk.

{Ed002's Note - They don't want to sell him but he has been tapped up and has a termination clause that could see him force a move - and RBL know that. He has also lied which has upset their sporting director.}

25 May 2021 12:33:28
Good summary from Moreton so I won’t repeat. I will add, however, that not being capped by France at CB doesn’t necessarily mean a thing. Take Laporte as an example. So I wouldn’t take that as a negative against the lad.

25 May 2021 12:35:07
if you haven't caught on yet, our signings are typically brought in based on the skills and characteristics they bring to the club and what they are about to bring to the pitch, not so much what they have already achieved in the game.

25 May 2021 12:38:37
I don't think you can judge how good a player actually is based on whether or not they make the France squad. For instance, Aymeric Laporte is a top, top player who's leagues ahead of Umtiti or Lenglet but for some reason has been completely overlooked, and will now turn out for Spain at the Euros.

25 May 2021 13:23:30
Great read, Moreton_Red. I fully agree with you having watched him several ties in the past. Hopefully, he pans out cos his ability and potential overall, is off the charts, IMO.

25 May 2021 13:37:52
Sigh! Not for me at the price being quoted. he hasn't played enough for two seasons straight and that doesn't inspire confidence.
Ability shability quality shaquality means poo if he can't be relied to stay fit for 50+ games.

Also klopps system will run him to the bones and that might not help him initially. Will take atleast two years to really shine so i think this signing is more about rebuild and times after vvd.

25 May 2021 13:40:26
Thanks, everyone. Seems to be a consensus that he is a very good player who could become outstanding. Assuming the reports are reliable - and on the assumption that van Dijk comes back just as good as before - that's pretty exciting to look ahead to those two playing together.

25 May 2021 13:46:34
I'm starting to think more and more that Akira is the latest Harry Regen.

25 May 2021 13:50:15
His ability and potential are, as OliRed put it, off the charts. He really is imperious when he’s fit and firing, made all the more impressive by how young he is. Haven’t seen him play much but every time he has he caught my eye. Has that same aura that van Dijk does whereby even though he’s a defender and you’d rather not notice him too much, he sticks out like a sore thumb because he is so dominant. That is something that Gomez does not do as of yet, as while he is a very good centre back, he doesn’t have the assertiveness to really go out and dominate the opposition just yet, but Konate already does even at his young age. Go and watch a few highlight reels (granted they are almost completely useless in judging a defenders positioning and timing mind you) and what immediately sticks out is just how frightening his physical prowess can be. When he moves its like someones got hold of a player on Fifa and bumped all the physical stats up.

I wouldn’t worry too much about his lack of game time as there’s plenty of explanations for it. He’s still so young and such injuries can happen to young players, he still has plenty of time to develop. Leipzig have had to find new solutions while he has been out and obviously haven’t felt the need to throw him back in every single game, particularly as they have a wealth of options to choose from and play a variety of different systems with 3 and 4 at the back which they change mid game quite often.

I can’t remember where this was quoted but i remember seeing that the Leipzig staff are very confident that he will turn into one of the best centre backs in the world. It’s less of a case that we should be worrying about his lack of game time etc and more that we are lucky that circumstances have led us to a position where he is quite easily attainable. I just can’t see us conceding many goals with a fit van Dijk and Konate at the back!

25 May 2021 13:59:06
Akira, I am sure you know this BUT that would make sense if Konate was a forward or a midfielder in a Klopp system. He is a CB and we all know that CB's don't really have to do the same amount of running as a forward or midfielder doe BT whatever, man.

25 May 2021 15:22:59
AW and you know the fascinating thing about it, even VVD was nowhere near Konate's ability at 21. In fact at the time, people did not think VVD would even make it as a footballer so he is already miles ahead of VVD at the same age which is crazy on its own.

Now does that automatically mean he will turn out like VVD did? Absolutely not. Is it a mouthwatering prospect for Konate? You better believe it. I think the whole injury thing is overblown really. I am sure we have done our due diligence and I am sure we have a plan for him cos in the end, he is just a kid at 21 and needs time to develop himself physically.

25 May 2021 16:34:38
I seem to remember a young Steve Gerrard went through a phase of regular injuries. He turned out OK.



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