Liverpool may be without Ibrahima Konate for Sunday’s trip to face Newcastle United.

Konate has become a key player for Liverpool since his £35m move two years ago, forming an impressive centre-back partnership with Virgil van Dijk.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold’s shift into a hybrid role, the Frenchman’s pace and positional awareness is now absolutely vital to the Reds. But speaking in his pre-Newcastle press conference, Klopp said Liverpool may have to cope without Konate this weekend.

Ibrahima Konate
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

“Trent yes, Thiago from Monday on. Curtis from Monday on. Ibou is a doubt, so yeah. Playing 40 minutes with 10 men didn’t help. That’s the situation. The rest should be available,” said the Reds boss.

Good news on the others, but Konate is the one man Liverpool really need right now.

Konate doubtful for Newcastle

To be quite frank, this is the worst possible news for Liverpool in terms of fitness ahead of this weekend.

There have been calls all summer for the Reds to strengthen themselves in the centre-back position. But so far, Liverpool have done nothing.

As a result, they’re now in a position where Joel Matip or Joe Gomez will have to step in to cover for Ibou.

Ibrahima Konate
Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Two or three years ago, that wouldn’t have been a problem at all. But now, with Matip creaking and Gomez’s level dropping alarmingly, neither look good enough.

This is the exact scenario that fans have been worried about ever sine Trent’s move into his new position last season.

Konate is well-suited to cover the right-side of defence, but even he struggles sometimes. To ask Gomez or especially Matip to do the same job is borderline suicidal.

It won’t help matters that Liverpool head to face one of the best sides in the league this weekend. They badly need Konate available for these types of games. Unfortunately, it now looks like this time at least, they won’t.

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