'Not his usual self': Media criticise 23-year-old Liverpool player after friendly display last night, say he looked 'rusty'
Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images

'Not his usual self': Media criticise 23-year-old Liverpool player after friendly display last night, say he looked 'rusty'

Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate has taken some heat from the media after a below-par performance last night.

The 23-year-old wasn’t at his best alongside Joe Gomez. With teenaged full-backs either side of them, Liverpool shipped three goals in the first 21 minutes against Strasbourg at Anfield.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Konate appeared ‘slightly rusty’ as he found the forwards for the French team ‘tough to handle.’

Liverpool World went even further, suggesting the centre-back was ‘not his usual self.’ Some of his defensive work was labelled ‘unconvincing’ before he hobbled off injured with 20 minutes to go.

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Fingers crossed for good news on Konate injury

Konate’s pre-season has been an interesting one. Despite ending the campaign as Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice partner for Virgil Van Dijk, he appears to have already handed that title back to Joel Matip.

That isn’t necessarily through any fault of his own. Although he hasn’t always fully convinced when paired with Gomez this summer.

Rather, Matip continues to be imperious. The Cameroonian is a model of consistency. At twenty-three, Konate still has plenty of time to add that to his game, and there’s every chance he will be Van Dijk’s partner for large patches of 2022/23.

Unfortunately though, he may now have to wait for that to be the case. It looked like a potential knee injury for the Frenchman as he took his leave at Anfield last night.

Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images,

Hopefully it isn’t serious, we’ve seen the damage that knee injuries can have on Liverpool centre-backs. Never again, please.

According to Klopp via liverpoolfc.com though, the injury ‘doesn’t look to concerning.’ Fingers crossed for good news, we could do without missing Ibou for any length of time as the campaign gets underway.

Although he may have been underwhelming last night, he has been mostly excellent since joining a year ago. He has also looked especially good in training recently. This is a big season for him as he hopes to establish himself in the Liverpool and France teams ahead of the World Cup.

Liverpool may not be a better team per se with Konate in the eleven. But the squad is far better for having him in it. Let’s hope the scan results show that there’s nothing to worry about.

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