Ibrahima Konaté: Is Liverpool in safe hands when they go up against Spurs on Sunday?

Liverpool, Ibrahima Konaté (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
Liverpool, Ibrahima Konaté (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images) /
Liverpool, Ibrahima Konaté
Liverpool, Ibrahima Konaté (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images) /

With Virgil van Dijk being one of three Liverpool players who tested positive for COVID, it appears Ibrahima Konate will be called into action to start against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Will he be able to keep Harry Kane and Son Heung-min quiet as he has done with other forwards previously?

Liverpool FC’s manager, Jürgen Klopp, confirmed in his pre-match press conference that he is still waiting on a second Covid-19 test result for Virgil van Dijk, Curtis Jones, and Fabinho. All three were missing for the Newcastle United win on Thursday night past and are likely to miss Sunday’s fixture as well.

"Virgil van Dijk was named as one of three Covid cases prior to Liverpool’s win against Newcastle and the No. 4 is frustrated but looking forward to his return.With football replicating wider society, cases have been rising in the Premier League and the Reds revealed Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Van Dijk are now isolating after positive results. (Via: thisisanfield.com)"

The Reds have the improved Spurs up next, playing under new management, Antonio Conte. Without question, this is an essential fixture in their fight for Premier League glory, and to be without crucial figures, VVD and Fabinho could be seen as a significant setback.

However, the problems at the back from last season for Liverpool have not been on display this term, which is down to most defenders staying fit. However, Jürgen Klopp does have options — one option, in particular: Ibrahima Konaté.

He has barely put a foot wrong in his eight appearances for Liverpool; yes, that is quite a low number of minutes on the pitch, but it is the opponents that he has faced during this time that has shown he has what it takes to deputize for Van Dijk and others in the CB position seamlessly.

Liverpool is in safe hands with Ibrahima Konaté.

Ibrahima Konaté has only conceded four goals in his eight features, starting each. Only once has he and the rest of the team gone by two goals while he has been on the pitch. His best showings for the 2021/22 campaign have been his most recent pair of outings.

He had to go up against the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimović, who, at the end of the Champions League meeting between AC Milan and Liverpool at the San Siro, swapped sweaters with Konate thanks to a dominant display against one of the best attackers that have ever graced the game.

Despite a goal conceded in the Newcastle United win midweek, Konate gave the visitors little hope of scoring a second or more at Anfield. He snuffed out everything and was on call every time Allan Saint-Maximin tried to kickstart something in the attack for the Magpies.

We must bear in mind: the goal against the Reds did come through a Thiago Alcantara error and was no fault of the backline.

Things upfront have not been dampened, with him leading the backline. Liverpool’s attacking game has been one of the best in Europe and the most ruthless in the Premier League. While keeping five clean sheets in his eight appearances, Liverpool has scored two or more goals in all of the games he has featured within.

He plays a big part in going forward like his center-back partners, VVD and Joel Matip. He has an 88.2% pass completion, having completed 375 passes from 425 attempts; he also has 24 progressive passes.

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This does declare him more than capable of taking over from the fan favorites, something he is fast becoming at Anfield. If he puts in another commanding, no-nonsense display for Liverpool, Klopp will have to consider giving him a starting spot in the team.