Konate, 22, is a comparatively new child on the block at Anfield having joined from RB Leipzig in a £36million transfer final summer time. However he has already made a giant impression by making 25 appearances, beginning each legs within the Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals.
In home competitions, the younger Frenchman has shared minutes with Joel Matip as Van Dijk’s colleague at centre-back, giving him the prospect to develop alongside a grasp of his commerce. The Dutchman, 30, is broadly thought to be among the finest gamers within the Premier League and an professional within the artwork of defending.
Nonetheless, the connection between Van Dijk and Konate is something however one-sided because the extra junior of the pair feels he has ample alternative to specific himself. “Virgil? Yeah he offers me some recommendation for giant video games,” Konate mentioned forward of Saturday’s FA Cup closing towards Chelsea.
“However he additionally has this high quality the place we’ve this nice relationship and he permits me to resolve in every match, to make selections. He lets me play to my very own qualities, and I believe that could be a superb side of his management.
“However I believe it is the entire workforce who defend, to be trustworthy. It isn’t simply the again 4. The midfield and even the attackers, all of them have a task to play in permitting us to do what we do. We will solely defend with that stage of help from up entrance.”
Who ought to companion Virgil van Dijk within the FA Cup closing: Ibrahima Konate or Joel Matip? Have your say in the comments!
Liverpool FC by way of Getty Pictures)
Konate performed 90 minutes in all 5 of Liverpool’s FA Cup video games main as much as the ultimate and he’ll hope to maintain his spot within the beginning XI to face the Blues. Matip is one other elegant operator in central defence and lined up on the again in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, so the 30-year-old additionally has claims to start out alongside Van Dijk.
The Cameroonian obtained the nod in February’s Carabao Cup closing towards Chelsea however got here off within the ninetieth minute for Konate. The Reds went on to win 11-10 on penalties to gather the primary piece of silverware on provide for the season. Liverpool can nonetheless theoretically add three extra trophies to their haul within the type of the FA Cup, Champions League and Premier League, however their probabilities of a top-flight triumph are dwindling within the face of Manchester Metropolis’s cost in the direction of the title.