Ibrahima Konate returned to the bench for Liverpool’s trip to Goodison Park to face the Blues but he can be spotted juggling the ball deftly in the latest episode of the ‘Inside’ series.
The Frenchman joined the club in the summer from RB Leipzig after his £36million release clause was triggered. While he has made a slow start to life on Merseyside, there have been promising signs in his 540 minutes for the club.
It’s unsurprising that he has looked a bit shaky at times, as centre-back is arguably the most difficult position in Jurgen Klopp’s system to excel at.
The German’s centre-halves have to be fast, have excellent positioning, be world-class in 1v1 defensive situations and be able to play in an extremely high line which is the most difficult aspect to acclimate to as it leaves central defenders vulnerable.
Konate has the pace, power and strength to be able to play as a centre back in the Premier League. But, like any new Klopp signing, he needs time to show why Liverpool were more than happy to spend £36m on a 22-year-old.
He was caught out by Luis Diaz and Evanilson against Porto and by Armando Broja against Southampton. But in both scenarios, he showcased his astounding recovery pace, even if Alisson Becker was called into action to bail him out.
After the 5-0 rout of Manchester United in October, Henderson called Konate ‘top class’ so it’s clear he’s appreciated by his teammates.
Back on the bench against Everton for the returning Joel Matip, it’s clear that he still needs time to get used to the unique demands of playing at centre-back for the Reds. But he showcased his juggling ability before the game if you fast forward to 1:53 in Liverpool’s new YouTube upload: ‘Inside Goodison: Everton 1-4 Liverpool | Away end bouncing in the derby.’