Liverpool near the signing of Ibrahima Konate, according to reports. But there may be an immediate rivalry at the club.
This comes from Bild. They support reports that Liverpool want Ibrahima Konate.
They back up claims of a release clause, too, and it sounds as though Liverpool want to pay it. They haven’t made any other offer, suggesting they’ll just meet that clause.
But the most interesting part of it all is that Konate is ‘dissatisfied’ at RB Leipzig. He doesn’t want to sit on the bench but has been doing it a lot.
And that sets up and interesting situation at Liverpool.
Konate starting at Liverpool is far from a sure thing. In fact, we expect Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to take the first-choice spots as soon as they return.
It makes you wonder where Konate would sit in the pecking order. Because right now, he’d be bottom of the pile in terms of proven quality.
Van Dijk, Gomez and Joel Matip have won it all with Liverpool. They’ve proven their ability to deliver trophies and to hold the best defence in the Premier League.
Konate, at just 21, hasn’t shown that – yet. Liverpool would clearly expect him to reach that level before long.
But it also means that the Frenchman is down the pecking order as he arrives. And he won’t like that situation if he’s not happy on the bench.
Now, perhaps he’ll find it easier being on the bench at first with a bigger club. But we get the impression he’ll want a starting spot before long.
Van Dijk certainly isn’t dropping out, meaning Konate will have a natural rivalry with Gomez and Matip to be his partner. We can comfortably say that Liverpool will love that.
They’ll have to work on things, though. They’ve got to set the competition between players correctly and settle Konate into his role – he won’t be first-choice for months at the very least.
Hopefully, this is an attitude that gets the best out of Konate and Gomez, in particular. They’re both still developing as players and a rivalry like this might kick them on even further.
We’re certainly excited.