Journalist and former footballer Guido Schafer, an ex-teammate of Jurgen Klopp, has been speaking on the latest episode of the Blood Red podcast, where he discussed reported Liverpool target Ibrahima Konate.
The reigning English champions have been blighted by injury issues throughout the current campaign, predominantly to their defensive unit, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all sustaining significant problems.
Their drop-off in results has seen Jurgen Klopp’s men fall to eighth in the Premier League standings, seven points behind Chelsea, who occupy the final Champions League place.
That has led to speculation that the Anfield outfit are set to turn to Konate this summer in a bid to resolves their defensive issues, and Schafer believes the youngster bears a resemblance to one of Klopp’s key men.
He said: “He’s only 21 years old. He’s as good as Dayot Upamecano when he is fit. But Ibrahima has one problem, and this is the problem with the injuries. He had a serious injury one and a half years ago, and afterwards, he never [came back] in his real shape.
“He’s fit now, but he’s not 100% fit, and he needs practice. But he’s a very, very tough player. He’s tall, high, and also fast and [has] good technique, and a good view of the match, and I think he’s a little bit like Virgil van Dijk – a little bit.”
TIF Thoughts on Konate…
However, the Frenchman is still only 21 years old, and relying on him to be the answer to all of Liverpool’s problems would be very shortsighted.
If Konate can put his injury issues behind him, then he could be one of the best defenders of his generation and is bound to get a big move over the next few years, whether that is to Anfield or elsewhere remains to be seen, though.