Jurgen Klopp thanks Liverpool trio as Reds complete Ibrahima Konate signing from RB Leipzig
Liverpool have confirmed the official signing of French defender Ibrahima Konate this summer from German club RB Leipzig – and Jurgen Klopp has responded. The Reds gaffer has thanked the commitment and performances of three Liverpool players – in the form of Nat Phillips, Ozan Kabak and Rhys Williams, after Konate was announced.
Konate, 22, has signed a long-term deal with the Reds – though the length of that contract is unspecified. A fee is around £30million, with reports claiming that the contract he has signed will be until June 2026. Liverpool are doing their business done early.
The Reds were always likely to be after a defender after injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip – leaving them with Phillips, Williams, Fabinho and Kabak for much of the season. Kabak should return to his parent club, while Williams is still very young.
Phillips has earned mass plaudits for his no-nonsense defending amid the injury crisis, but his future is now in doubt. With van Dijk, Gomez and Matip returning and Konate signing – Phillips is now fifth choice. Klopp thanked the ex-Bolton man, as well as Williams and Kabak.
“After the problems we had with injuries in the centre-half position last season, there’s no doubt it was clear it was an area of the team we needed to strengthen – but I first have to say that the job Nat, Rhys and Ozan did was incredible. Unbelievable really,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.
What next for Phillips and Williams – as Liverpool sign Konate?
Kabak, as aforementioned will return to Germany, while Ben Davies remains a complete unknown – after an injury. But with Williams and Phillips set to fall down the pecking order again, where does their future lie? Well, Williams is still only 20. He is in need of a loan.
But Phillips is now 24 and at this point in his career, should have a lot more games under his belt. Premier League clubs are likely to be tempted by his performances this season. A mid-table side, like a Palace, a Newcastle, a Brighton would surely be tempted to chance their arm on Phillips.
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