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Sports News of Monday, 20 September 2021


Konate did really well playing against proper striker Jordan Ayew – Liverpool coach Klopp

Striker, Jordan Ayew Striker, Jordan Ayew

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on Malian international Ibrahima Konate after excelling for the club on his debut last Saturday.

The 22-year-old joined the English giants on a five-year contract worth £35m after a superlative performance in the German Bundesliga last season.

Making his debut against Crystal Palace, Konate put up a splendid performance keeping Ghanaian forward Jordan Ayew and Wilfred Zaha from finding the back of the net.

Speaking after the game, the German trainer was full of praise following Konate’s outstanding performance in their 3-0 win over Palace.

“Yes, definitely, that’s very important. I think we all saw what kind of potential the boy has – it’s incredible.

“Physicality, technique, game understanding, it’s all there, but when as a young boy you are already skilled like Ibou is then you rely sometimes on these skills and the Premier League teaches you harsh lessons.

“[Saturday] was a good example with Crystal Palace playing with first Benteke and then Edouard, Zaha all the time cutting inside, Ayew around… these are proper strikers, and he did really well.

“Of course, when you play your first game then maybe it is not so nice when you play in a completely new last line, but together with Virg and Millie on this side it worked really well – and Kostas played a top game as well.”

Klopp stated there is still more to expect from the Mali prospect while talking about whether he is keen on rotating the squad or not in the 2021-22 campaign.

“There is a lot more to come from him,” he continued.

“He is still young and yes, of course, they all have had to adapt to the way we play and to the league as well, of course.

“It is a special league here. He is in a really good way and I am really happy about the process.

“We will rotate, we always rotated, but you see in the last line in the last years we couldn’t rotate really because there were always a maximum of two fit [centre-backs] very often – and the third one was already a midfielder.

“In midfield, hopefully, we have the numbers to do [it] and we need that because, as I said before the game, this is the engine room of the team and we need to make the changes there.

“Upfront, we have different opportunities as well, so that’s good. How often we do it, I didn’t make a plan already for the season, but as often as necessary and possible.”