Guest Article: Written by Efua.XO

Liverpool belatedly replaced Dejan Lovren when they parted ways with £36million to trigger the release clause of Leipzig centre back Ibrahima Konaté. The clause was triggered in May 2021, allowing the Frenchman to join the club on July 1st, 2021.

The previous season had been one from hell with a centre back injury crisis taking out all three senior options with season ending injuries. As usual, the club didn’t panic, with Jürgen Klopp willing to wait till the summer for Konaté who was his preferred option.

Loan moves for Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak were a temporal band aid to try and stop the bleeding in the heart of defence, before the arrival of Konaté. The Frenchman slotted straight into the squad upon arrival and enjoyed a strong pre-season.

That stood him in good stead for what lay ahead in the season and he has been immense when called upon. ‘Ibou’ made his debut on September 18, 2021, helping the side keep a clean sheet against Crystal Palace, in a 3-0 league win at Anfield.

Since then, he has shown that he has what it takes to compete in the Premier League and Champions League. He’s got height (6 ft 4″ – an added advantage in the physical nature of the PL) strength, pace and passing ability.

This set of features allows him to duel with the biggest target men in the game and hold his own. It has also helped him fit in with the style of the team with his pace aiding the club’s high defensive line strategy.

His comfort in possession also supports the buildup play as Jürgen Klopp prefers his side to build play out from the back. At just 22 years old, his adaptation to life in England has been really impressive. He’s hit the ground running and has been reliable every time he’s been called upon.

His style of play is centered around short passing, one on one duels, as well as posing an indirect set-piece threat. I can’t think of any weakness to be honest. If I’m nitpicking, I’d say he maybe loses his concentration and can be drawn out of position at times.

That will improve with time though as he doesn’t turn 23 until May 25th. So far this season, Ibou has managed eight PL appearances, keeping four clean sheets, picking up two yellows and averaging a pass accuracy of 86%.

In the CL, he’s managed three appearances, keeping two clean sheets and picking up one booking whilst averaging a pass accuracy of 87%. He is yet to lose a match when starting for Liverpool. In his 19 appearances in all competitions, the side has won 16 and drawn 3 times. That’s a win percentage of 84%!

Ibou has earned the manager’s trust and has allowed Joel Matip to be rotated. That has also benefited the Cameroonian as he’s enjoying his best ever season both in terms of consistency of performances and fitness record.

Konaté has usurped Joe Gomez in the pecking order and is trusted by his teammates and the entire fanbase. There was no concern when he was brought on in the League Cup final to deal with Romelu Lukaku.

His highlight of the season so far is that final, where he netted in the shootout to help clinch the club’s first League Cup trophy since 2012. It’s hard to pick his best performance of the season with several impressive outings to choose from.

He was imperious at the San Siro twice this season, pocketing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and then Edin Dzeko as Milan’s two top teams were beaten. He was also faultless at Old Trafford as he kept Cristiano Ronaldo quiet in a 5-0 thrashing.

Ibrahima Konaté vs AC Milan:

• 100% tackle success rate
• 87% pass accuracy
• 64 touches
• 41 passes completed (2nd)
• 7 clearances (1st)
• 5 ground duels won
• 3 aeriel duels won (=2nd)
• 3 interceptions (1st)
• 3 ball recoveries
• 2 tackles won (=2nd)
• 1 block
• 1 chance created
• 0× dribbled past

Ibrahima Konaté vs Inter Milan:

• 89% pass accuracy
• 58 touches
• 40 passes completed
• 4 interceptions (1st)
• 4 ball recoveries
• 4 duels won
• 4 long balls attempted
• 3 long balls completed
• 2 tackles won (=2nd)
• 2 aeriel duels won
• 1 clearance
• 1 shot attempted
• 1 chance created
• 0× dribbled past

I can’t wait for him to stamp his name as one of the best centre backs in the Premier League and indeed the world. He’s a generational talent for Liverpool and a ready made replacement for when Van Dijk and Matip’s journey with the Reds come to an end.

Ibrahima Konaté’s season has been nothing short of a success so far and I’m sure he’s going to get even better as he plays more games and picks up the necessary experience that it comes along with. The world of football should watch out for Ibou!



  1. Wow. Adding to what you said,Konate brought in tough competition for Matip,he made,his clearance is 100,he his do good in aerial duels,I love the fact jurgen is already creating a good younger team to keep the legacy going. Konate is for sure going to be named along the top defenders to ever grace Footy. Nice write up momma 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. At that point u mentioned no weakness, I was ready to go logger heads with you, but d moment u mentioned quickly about his loss of concentration and been drawn out of the line once in a while, then u are spot on 👍✌️👏👏👏 ma’am, I wouldn’t want to outline those specific matches, because Konate has been immense no denying that fact, and long may it continue..

    Kudos to ya

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Konate has proved to be a wonderful signing under Jurgen Klopp, not being a regular starter means there is still work to be done but like you said he’s young and under the right mentors, he’d be named amongst the best.
    All signs lead to greatness for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice work Effy.. Ibu has been a fantastic signing since he joined from Leipzig in the summer of 2021. He’s a generational talent and he has a lot of room to improve as he’s yet to clock 23. Backing him succeed

    Liked by 1 person

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