Jurgen Klopp picked out three Liverpool centre-backs for praise as the club signed Ibrahima Konate. The boss has some tough decisions to make.
Ibrahima Konate is a Liverpool player. The Reds agreed a deal on Friday, wrapping up a major transfer for the club.
It’s a very important one, too. Liverpool suffered an injury crisis in defence this season, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all suffering season-ending problems.
It left the team near-helpless at the back and forced Jurgen Klopp to call on inexperienced reserve players to save the side. And on a day when Liverpool possibly replaced those reserve players, the boss was quick to hail his saviours.
Jurgen Klopp on his centre-backs
“After the problems we had with injuries in the centre-half position last season, there’s no doubt it was clear it was an area of the team we needed to strengthen,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
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“But I first have to say that the job Nat [Phillips], Rhys [Williams] and Ozan [Kabak] did was incredible. Unbelievable really.”
It was unbelievable. Phillips had spent the previous season in Germany’s second division. Williams played National League with Kidderminster Harriers. Kabak didn’t even join the club until February 1st.
Yet, those were Liverpool’s defensive options as they mounted an assault on the Premier League’s top four. A victorious one.
No one could have seen that as possible. Three young, unproven players, trying to keep Liverpool secure enough to be a Champions League side. The fact that they did it is just remarkable.
We’re not sure what the next steps are for all three of Phillips, Williams and Kabak. We imagine they have different paths.
But what is certain is that they established themselves as top players last season. At the absolute very least, they proved they can play at the top level.
That should set them up for very decent careers.