Liverpool assistant coach Pep Lijnders has said that new signing Ibrahima Konate is “doing really well” at his new club thus far.
Konate was signed from German side RB Leipzig back in May.
The 22-year-old has had a few training sessions now, and it is fair to say that Lijnders has been impressed by him.
Speaking to LiverpoolFC.com, the Dutchman said: “Ibou is doing really well.
“He comes from a different style, but there are some similarities and he has adapted well to what we want.
“Ibou is really calm on the ball, he knows how to attack and when to step in when with the ball, when to play the outside pass, when to play the inside pass, when to switch the game. He has a good understanding of the game, attacking-wise.
Lijnders continued: “Defensively, he is strong and it is something we wanted because we play high.
“Our centre-halves and full-backs need to be able to catch players when they break because when you play so offensively, when players slip through, we do, of course, have Ali but we firstly want to catch them with our legs – solve the problem with legs.
“One thing Ibou has his legs!”
Lijnders can see that Konate is perfect for Liverpool
While the coach was obviously aware of Konate’s qualities before, he has now had first-hand viewing of them.
It is true that Liverpool and RB Leipzig have slightly different styles.
Of course, the Reds play with a back four, while Die Roten Bullen often played with a back three under Julian Nagelsmann.
Yet both teams press very high and are usually in possession of the ball. So, there are lots of similarities as well, which means that Konate should be able to adapt with ease.
His ability on the ball is as important as his quality defensively. This is clear from Lijnders’ words, as his attacking game is the first thing he mentions.
Considering that Liverpool’s centre-backs see so much of the ball, it is important that Konate can use it well.
And, of course, his defending is still the priority.
The coach is clearly impressed by Konate’s pace, which is vital for playing in a high line. Look and Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez – they are two of the quickest centre-backs on earth.
Konate is up there with them.
It is clear to see that the Frenchman has made a good start to life in red.
Hopefully, it will be onwards and upwards from here.