Who is Ibrahima Konate: The ‘new Van Dijk’ with worrying injury record


iverpool have found their new centre-back as reports on Monday claim RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate is close to sealing a £34m move to Anfield.

The current Premier League champions have endured a tough defence of their title due to season-ending injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, with their unprecedented fitness concerns have hit the entire defence.

Chelsea have also been linked with interest in a player highly rated in both Germany and France.

Who is Ibrahima Konate?

With a lot of attention in Leipzig centred around Dayot Upamecano, who is set to join Bayern Munich in the summer, the younger Ibrahima Konate has perhaps one under the radar.

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Konate, born in 1999, spent his youth career in France with Paris FC before moving to Ligue 2 side Sochaux in 2014 as he made his first steps into the international game with France U16s.

The centre-back broke into the Sochaux first team in 2017, making 13 appearances, and scoring one goal, and attracted the attention of Leipzig who had only recently been promoted to the Bundesliga and signed Konate on a free.

He has since established himself alongside Upamecano but has not been without his injury problems.

Ibrahima Konate injury history

Konate has had plenty of injury problems over the past two years, missing a total of 393 days since the start of the 2019-20 season.

Three consecutive muscle injuries have hampered his progression, before an ankle injury recently ruled out him for just under two months.

He has not started a game for Leipzig since December and has partnered Upamecano just 20 times, out of a possible 128 games, since joining in 2017.

What have been Konate’s key metrics and stats this season?

Konate, who stands tall at six foot four inches, is among the quickest centre-backs in Europe and is extremely strong in the air.

According to WhoScored, Konate has won 85.7% per cent of his aerial battles in the Bundesliga this season – an area Liverpool are lacking in this season with only Manchester City winning fewer.

On top of that, Konate’s pass success rate is 83.5% this season, down from 88.6% in the injury-hit 2019-20 campaign.

What is Konate’s playing style?

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