Who is Ibrahima Konate? The RB Leipzig star set for a move to Liverpool

Nicholas Hughes
Who is Ibrahima Konate? The RB Leipzig star set for a move to Liverpool

Liverpool’s hunt for central defensive cover increasingly looks like it has led them to RB Leipzig star Ibrahima Konate.

The Reds have toiled this season in part due to long-term injuries to central defensive trio Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, so naturally Jurgen Klopp has been on the look out for additional options in that sector.

READ MORE: Klopp fears for Liverpool players in new Champions League format

With Dayot Upamecano, Konate’s Leipzig team-mate, having already secured a blockbuster move to Bayern Munich, it may well be that the France Under-21 star is on his way out of the Bundesliga club, too.

Indeed, the Guardian reports that Liverpool have agreed a five-year deal with the youngster.

Konate, though, has had his troubles on his way to the top. The 21-year-old has had an injury-riddled couple of seasons, missing a combined 45 games for Leipzig since October 2019.

But when he has played, Konate has shown huge potential in the Bundesliga and it appears that talent has attracted Klopp to make a move for him.

What position does Ibrahima Konate play in?

The Frenchman is a centre-back, forming a strong defensive core for Leipzig in recent seasons alongside the likes of Upamecano, Willi Orban and Nordi Mukiele.

He is regarded as a ball-winning defender but has struggled for match time in recent months because of fitness issues.

How good is Ibrahima Konate?

Konate is not a player who has been extensively used by Leipzig this season, featuring only 12 times in the Bundesliga for a combined total of less than 600 minutes to date, but that alone should not be used as a yard stick of where his game presently lies.

Indeed, he is one of the top performing centre-backs in Germany’s top flight, according to date from SCI Sports.

Source: SCI Sports

Source: SCI Sports

As a pure defensive player, he excels. His instincts are such that he suppresses passing and dribbling to a strong level, while there is not a centre-back in the league who performs better when it comes to stopping opposing strikers from getting a shot away.

Admittedly, his tackle success rate could use raising and he has a tendency to give away too many fouls, but he is strong in the air and exceptional in duels.

Where he is notably weak is in possession, and that could represent an issue in the Liverpool side. He does not rank well in any regard with the ball at his feet and has an overall pass completion percentage of just 86 this season, which is very low for a centre-back, a position in which players typically take low-risk options and can expect to post upwards of 90% in this regard.

Clearly, then, there is still room for improvement, but Konate is unlikely to move to a big club with any expectation of featuring as a regular.

When Ralf Rangnick completed his signing from Sochaux at Leipzig, he said Konate was “so good he could play for Real Madrid or Barcelona one day”.

What clubs are interested in Ibrahima Konate?

Aside from catching the eye of Klopp at Liverpool, Konate has also reportedly been the subject of interest from Real Madrid and Manchester United in the past.

London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are also believed to have been watching the Frenchman over the past 12 months or so, meaning Liverpool would ultimately beat three Premier League rivals to his signature.

Konate would arrive at Anfield with an already large reputation courtesy of this plethora of interest in him, even while still at the age of 21.

When does Ibrahima Konate’s Leipzig contract expire?

Konate signed a five-year contract in 2017 but then signed an extension, so his current deal isn’t set to expire until 2023.

This, fortunately for Liverpool, will not change his price tag with a reported €40 million release clause having to be met to secure his signature.

What is Ibrahima Konate’s Instagram?

Konate has 77.6k followers on Instagram as of March 2021.

Who is Ibrahima Konate’s girlfriend?

Konate is not currently involved in a public relationship.