‘He’s very outspoken’: Virgil van Dijk says ‘bubbly’ Liverpool character is also an ‘incredible player’
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‘He’s very outspoken’: Virgil van Dijk says ‘bubbly’ Liverpool character is also an ‘incredible player’

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has claimed teammate Ibrahima Konate has been the player who has surprised him the most.

Speaking on the Pitch Side podcast, the 31-year-old hailed praise on the French youngster. He lavished the centre-back’s current abilities and spoke of his fantastic potential going forward.

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“I think Konate over the last year, personality-wise he’s very outspoken, bubbly, and chatty, but on the pitch, he’s quality of course,” he said.

“An incredible player for now, but also for the future.

“He’s the first one that comes to mind.”

Konate joined the Reds last summer from RB Leipzig in a deal worth £36m; what seems now to be an absolute bargain.

Van Dijk full of praise for Konate

At just 23-years-old, the defender is already a France international who is expected to play a part for Didier Deschamps’ side at the Qatar World Cup.

Although he had been at the club for less than a year, Konate was given the responsibility to start in Jurgen Klopp’s XI for both the FA Cup and Champions League finals back in May. This was most deservedly so.

The centre-back is a giant presence in defence. At 6ft4 tall, the former Leipzig man is dominant in the air. His brute strength and physicality make him a real force to come up against, meaning he is a strong challenger of the ball – whether that be in the tackle or in an aerial duel.

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However, unusual for his size, Konate is also blessed with incredible pace. With Liverpool’s high-defensive line, this has proven invaluable since he arrived at Anfield.

Although he reads the game well, this speed allows the defender to get back in behind and cover for teammates when needs be.

Excitingly for the Reds, the Frenchman is still way off his prime years. As a 23-year-old, he still has a lot to learn.

Partnered with the greatest centre-back in world football, being van Dijk, the youngster has the perfect role model to learn from.

Therefore, Konate’s long-term future at the club is an exciting proposition, and hopefully he will be at Anfield for years to come.

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