James Milner shares why Ibrahima Konate has impressed him behind the scenes at Liverpool
Ibrahima Konate made his full Premier League debut on Saturday and James Milner was full of praise, when talking to the Liverpool Echo.
Konate, 22, was Liverpool’s only meaningful addition to the senior side last summer – joining right at the start of the window from RB Leipzig.
But the France Under-21 star had been force to remain a substitute for Liverpool’s first five games of the season. On Saturday, he started.
Konate partnered Virgil van Dijk in a makeshift defence that also included James Milner and Konstantinos Tsimikas. But Liverpool won 3-0.
Speaking to the Echo in quotes published after the match, Milner applauded Konate and shared his thoughts on him having watched him in training.
“He has been brilliant,” Milner said. “He’s a great lad, funny guy. He’s very strong. He’s quick, good on the ball. I’m really impressed with him.
“It’s not easy when you don’t get into the team straight away. He would have been itching to get out there and play at Anfield.
“He’s a top class player, he’s going to be a seriously good player for this team. Watching a few games on the sidelines hasn’t done him any harm.”
Milner on Konate: Could he be van Dijk’s permanent partner?
Clearly, van Dijk is one of the first names on the team sheet. But it is who partners the Netherlands giant. Konate got the nod on Saturday.
But when it comes to picking Liverpool’s strongest side, Joel Matip probably gets the nod right now. Klopp has numerous options, though.
The Reds still boast Nat Phillips, who was excellent towards the end of last season. Konate was solid on Saturday. Joe Gomez is coming back.
While Konate has a way to go to break past the returning Gomez and the reliable Matip – he has made a good start and is showing huge potential.
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