Ibrahima Konate has opened up on the competition for places at Liverpool. His words explain why the Reds were so eager to sign him.
Ibrahima Konate arrived at Liverpool for £34m this summer – the Reds’ only major transfer. But he didn’t exactly arrive as a traditional star signing.
In fact, Konate is at best third-choice centre-back at Liverpool. Arguably, he’s fourth behind Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. He couldn’t exactly complain at that, either, given all three are proven champions.
Fortunately, he doesn’t complain. Konate has exactly the opposite mentality, actually, as he showed in an interview on Liverpoolfc.com.
Konate on competition
“For sure it is not easy because every player wants to play, you know?” said Konate. “But I know I am young and I need to work to play. I was in Germany and now I am in the Premier League in Liverpool, one of the best teams in the world.
“It is not easy to come and play automatically at Liverpool. I know Jürgen, I know what he does and of course, I need to work. I hope with time this [being selected] will be automatic. I will work for this.”
Honestly, this goes a long way to showing why Liverpool really wanted Konate this summer. The Reds aren’t exactly the kind of club to spend £34m on a squad player, after all.
But the Frenchman demonstrates an understanding for the competition and a desire to immediately fight for his place. That kind of mentality is exactly what Liverpool like.
The Reds pay close attention to what players are like mentally, after all, as Michael Edwards outlined last week. Konate shows he has the attitude to succeed.
Not only that, but the 22-year-old has the right mix between contentment and fight for a young player in a squad role. Liverpool won’t expect him to cause hassle in his role, while they know he’ll do all he can to push on and improve.
That’s exactly what Liverpool needed with their signing. They wanted extra cover at centre-back, which Konate provides, while also securing a star for the future. Again, they found that.
No wonder, then, that Liverpool were so eager to sign him.