Ibrahima Konate showed a skill that Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp will absolutely love, according to reports. The Reds are supposedly close to his signing.
The Reds would pay around £35m to get him from RB Leipzig, taking advantage of a release clause. And there’s a lot to love about that.
For a relatively standard price, Liverpool get a 21-year-old with Bundesliga and Champions League experience. Konate is already good enough to play first-team football at the elite level and he’s still so young.
That’s the dream. A player who has the talent to play immediately but with a good five or six years before his prime.
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Konate’s potential is immense and it’s no wonder Liverpool hope to sign him.
But let’s focus on the other part of it – an ability to slot into the team effortlessly. Sometimes, experience isn’t enough for that.
Fabinho, for instance, took months before he started a game. He didn’t play a big game in Liverpool’s usual 4-3-3 until the March after he arrived.
Liverpool put a lot of weight into a player needing to fit their system before using him regularly. You can be brilliant but they must trust you to do the things they want you to do.
Fall short and you won’t play.
It’s something Jurgen Klopp bemoaned recently. He spoke about Ben Davies, a player who arrived on February 1st but hasn’t actually played yet.
“Ben Davies had a test to adapt, it was always clear,” he said, per the Liverpool Echo. “A lot of players came here to Liverpool and the most famous story is maybe Andy Robertson.
“It took him half a year in a normal season to settle in.”
Well, Konate should have Klopp and Liverpool smiling, then. The Frenchman apparently has a wonderful ability to adapt quickly, according to the Athletic.
“Club officials at Leipzig were immediately taken aback about his maturity,” wrote Raphael Honigstein. “Within the space of a few months, he had managed to do his baccalaureat (A levels), pass his driving test and adjust to life in a new country and in the Bundesliga, without so much as missing a beat.”
If Konate can show that ability to adapt at Liverpool, fans will quickly see him at his best. Unlike with others, Klopp shouldn’t have to worry about the usual initiation.