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Liverpool's new £36m signing Konate to make debut in pre-season friendly, Klopp confirms

14:14 BST 18/07/2021
Ibrahima Konate RB Leipzig Liverpool GFX
The German has revealed that the defender is in line to make his first appearance for the Reds since his move from RB Leipzig

Liverpool's new £36 million ($50m) signing Ibrahima Konate will make his debut in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.

Konate completed a big-money switch to Liverpool from RB Leipzig earlier this summer, with the Reds reportedly seeing off competition from a whole host of top clubs to land his signature, including Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Liverpool supporters can now look forward to seeing the 22-year-old in action for the first time, as Klopp has revealed that he is ready to feature in a 60-minute doubleheader contest against Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart in Austria this week.

What's been said?

Asked when he plans to hand Konate his first appearance for Liverpool, Klopp told the club's official website: “Tuesday. He’s had a good rest, had a normal pre-season so far, so yeah, he can play on Tuesday. For Ibou it is important that he gets minutes quickly, that’s what pre-season is for. 

“All the people from outside will say there are similarities between Leipzig and us and that is true, but anyway there are differences as well and the similarities are important but the differences are more important because you see that in training.

"There are some little habits where he is doing different to what we usually do, so we work on that but that’s now not that easy because that’s only six days now. 

“So, all fine, completely normal. The first few days are there to realise what is the boy doing when he is not thinking. So, natural stuff. And then from there, we start and that’s why he has to play and that’s what will happen.

"Then we will see how quickly we can get all this information together for him and then everything is fine. For a defender, it’s not as difficult as it would be for other players but it’s still a job to do, and that is what we are doing.”

How will Konate fit in at Liverpool?

Konate's arrival gives Klopp a valuable extra option at centre-back following a turbulent campaign that saw the Reds deal with an unprecedented defensive injury crisis.

Talismanic duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have only just returned to full training after respective spells out with knee knee ligament problems, meaning Konate will now have an opportunity to stake his claim for a regular place in the starting XI.

Konate boasts plenty of experience in top-level football after four impressive years at RB Leipzig, who he helped become Champions League semi-finalists and Bundesliga title contenders under the stewardship of Julian Nagelsmann.

Klopp will hope that he can also bring the best out of Konate as Liverpool bid to fight for major honours again in 2021-22, with a Premier League opener against newly-promoted Norwich on August 14 already looming large on the horizon.

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