'Made perfect sense: Liverpool staff member explains real reason why Klopp started Jota and Konate
Speaking to The Athletic, an unnamed backroom staff member at Liverpool has explained why Jurgen Klopp decided to start Ibrahima Konate and Diogo Jota against Manchester United on Sunday.
The Reds blew the hosts out of the water at Old Trafford. They were 5-0 up before 50 minutes, and if they really wanted to, they could’ve made that scoreline look a lot worse than how it ended.
Fabinho’s unavailability combined with Klopp picking Jota and Konate over Sadio Mane and Joel Matip surprised many people before kickoff. The German was proved right, but what made him go with the two big-money signings over other more experienced options?
Here’s what one of his staff members said.
Jota and Konate looked really sharp in Liverpool training
The Athletic quotes the unnamed Liverpool staff member saying: “Both Konate and Jota had looked so sharp (in training before the game against Manchester United at Old Trafford).
“With the depth we have this season, it made perfect sense to take advantage of that. We were expecting a tough game.”
Some people viewed Klopp’s decision to start Jota and especially Konate as a big gamble on Sunday. However, both players passed the test exceedingly well, and they’ll likely remain first-choice starters for the foreseeable future in the Premier League.
Konate was brilliant
Liverpool, in general, were on another level compared to Manchester United on Sunday, but Konate really did impress. It’s never easy for someone new to the Premier League to feature in a game of such high magnitude.
Things could’ve easily gone wrong for him, but he was mostly solid throughout the game and Klopp, predictably, was delighted with his performance.
Konate will now likely be Virgil van Dijk’s partner in most games. That’s bad news for Joe Gomez and Matip, but the fact that Liverpool have four really solid central defenders is excellent news after all the injury issues they faced last season.