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Report: Jurgen Klopp eyes Virgil van Dijk & Ibrahima Konate partnership

Jurgen Klopp sees a great partnership between Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate on the horizon. We can expect to see it at Liverpool next season.

This comes from the Athletic. They claim Jurgen Klopp sees a ‘commanding’ partnership between Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate.

Konate officially joins Liverpool on July 1st after the Reds completed a deal with RB Leipzig. He comes in as a fifth centre-back option, alongside Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Nat Phillips.

But it sounds as though he’ll be second choice, if that’s the partnership Klopp has in mind. Konate may usurp Gomez, Matip and Phllips immediately.

Van Dijk & Konate

It’s an interesting one. Van Dijk has led trophy-winning partnerships with both Matip (Champions League) and Gomez (Premier League). Both have been absolutely elite and it’s not immediately clear why Konate would jump to the head of the queue.

We imagine this is Klopp wanting to use Konate as his ‘reliable’ option. All three of his other centre-backs are still recovering from serious injuries, after all. Konate, even if he did miss large chunks of last season through injury, is the only one fit going into pre-season.

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But perhaps it’s also simply how Klopp sees the pecking order. It could be a question of potential, with the boss believing Konate is the next-big-thing and wants to get him in the lineup immediately.

We think that would be harsh on Gomez but it does make sense if Klopp believes in Konate’s potential.

Really, though, this is a short-term thing. The ultimate goal here will be a Konate/Gomez partnership that takes over once Van Dijk starts to wind down.

They’re young, supremely talented duo, after all. But for now, it seems we might see a lot of Konate and Van Dijk next season.

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