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Jurgen Klopp appears ready to pull trigger on 'commanding' partnership

It seems Jurgen Klopp is ready to pull the trigger on a partnership he’s reportedly excited for. That’s judging by recent team selections, certainly.

The most notable selection decision this season came at Old Trafford on Sunday. Jurgen Klopp picked Ibrahima Konate to partner Virgil van Dijk against Manchester United, despite him being the apparent fourth-choice centre-back.

This wasn’t against any old attack, either. United – for all their problems – boast a selection of world-class forwards. Klopp, though, trusted Konate to see Liverpool through it.

And he was right to do so. Konate played wonderfully as Liverpool ran out 5-0 winners. He looked comfortable and handled the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo very well.

So what does that mean, exactly? We think it might be Klopp pulling the trigger on a partnership he reportedly wants.

Klopp opts for dream partnership

The Athletic reported in the summer that Klopp saw Van Dijk and Konate as a ‘commanding’ partnership. That, they claimed, was a duo he could go with as a first-choice pairing down the line.

Sunday’s selection suggests Klopp sees them at that level already. Wednesday’s selection against Preston North End seemed to confirm that, too, as both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip played.

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That tells us neither is injured – they merely weren’t picked vs United. Klopp was instead ready to trust Konate & Van Dijk as a pairing in a big game.

Now, that doesn’t mean the two of them play every week together. Liverpool have four fantastic centre-backs to pick from – five if you count Nat Phillips as an option.

The Reds will take advantage of that by rotating players and sharing responsibilities. But we won’t be surprised if Klopp sticks with Konate and Van Dijk for big games going forward.

He made that call on Sunday when he didn’t have to and by 2022, the pairing may well be his go-to.

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