Ibrahima Konate will entrench himself as Virgil van Dijk’s first choice defensive partner, according to Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.
After a slow start to life under Jurgen Klopp, the Frenchman is proving to be a defensive revelation at the heart of the Reds backline. While he has often had to play second fiddle to Joel Matip, Liverpool are yet to lose a game when the £36million summer signing from RB Leipzig has been in the side.
At 22-years-old, many have tipped the Rolls Royce defender as a player who will likely provide the defensive fortifications for the next few seasons. However, Carragher believes Konate will pip the likes of Joe Gomez and Matip to the Liverpool starting eleven and establish himself as Van Dijk’s right hand man.
“He’s great isn’t he,” Carragher said to the ‘It’s a Funny Old Life’ podcast. “Joe Gomez is having a very hard time getting back into the team – he is playing right back at the moment.
“But the three now, wow. I think Konate, next season, might become the first choice to partner Virgil van Dijk.
“He may just edge Matip, not that Matip has done anything wrong. I just think Konate is that young and he is that good that you have to just go and let him play.
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“He’s getting a lot of games now – but he is fantastic.” Konate scored a towering header during Liverpool’s 3-2 FA Cup semi-final victory against Manchester City.
Konate also headed the Reds into first half leads in both legs of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Portuguese giants Benfica. While he has only started two Premier League matches in 2022, Klopp has leant on the youngster’s fantastic defending in all of the cup competitions.
Considering the fact he has started six of Liverpool’s last seven Champions League contests this campaign, he will likely be reserved for the major European stages.
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