Jurgen Klopp gave his first impression on Ibrahima Konate as pre-season started on Monday. The Frenchman could have a big future with Liverpool.
Ibrahima Konate joined Liverpool this summer and now the Reds can finally get a proper look at him. Pre-season started on Monday, with the 22-year-old front and centre.
Konate arrives with a lot of hype. Liverpool paid £36m for him, after all – a large fee for a young defender. There’s a genuine belief that Konate can go on to become one of the world’s best.
That all depends on how he handles life with Liverpool, of course. And we get our first look at that this summer in pre-season.
Jurgen Klopp, too, gets to see what working with Konate is like. Monday was their first day together and the boss gave his initial impressions to Liverpoolfc.com.
Klopp gives first impression on Konate
“First of all, obviously he is very excited! I saw on social media he had his own shirt presentation in five different venues in Paris! Great,” said Klopp.
“He is a good guy, he is really happy to be here. I’m really happy to have him around. He is a young boy still, unbelievably young, but experienced already. [He] played some really good stuff in the past and hopefully even better stuff in the future.
“But for him it’s now the first pre-season with us as well, we don’t know a lot about the player, that’s always how it is with new players.
“So we try to be careful as well, try to be in constant conversations with him about how he feels and these kinds of things. It’s a completely normal process and yeah, [it’s] really good to have him here.”
What can we expect from here?
It’s great to hear that Konate is excited to be at Liverpool and looking happy. That’s certainly step one to becoming a top player for the club.
Pre-season could be telling, though. Every other first-choice centre-back is coming back from injury, meaning Konate will almost certainly be backed to start the season.
But that only works if he clicks in pre-season. This is going to be a big month, then.
Liverpool and Klopp will want to see him looking positionally sound, above all. Get that part right and they can throw him in for the Premier League opener against Norwich City and play their normal game.
So Konate is definitely the one to watch this summer. Does he look like a natural fit? It’s important that he does if the Reds are to start the season right.