Former coach explains why Konate will become a 'top player' for Liverpool
Ibrahima Konate has all the talent and maturity to develop into a ‘top player’ for Liverpool, according to the defender’s former youth coach.
The 22-year-old defender joined Liverpool this summer after the Premier League giants bought out Konate’s minimum-fee release clause at RB Leipzig.
Although Konate was well regarded as a good prospect in Germany, the young defender only managed 95 appearances for RB Leipzig in four years.
And in many ways the French defender is arriving at Anfield as a raw talent that still has plenty of his trade still to learn.
However Reda Bekhti, who coached Konate at Paris FC prior to his move to Sochaux and then RB Leipzig, believes Liverpool is the perfect place for the defender to develop into a top talent.
'With a coach like Klopp he will keep getting better'
“It doesn't surprise me, the trajectory he is on,” the youth coach told the Liverpool Echo.
“Sochaux and then Leipzig, where he had two big, full seasons with a lot of matches. Today, he is in Liverpool and it doesn't surprise me as it's constant progress he is making.
“He is a reserved boy, rather shy, but with the force of circumstances and his maturity, his leadership has become natural.”
Despite concerns about his injury record and his age, Konate is likely to go straight into Liverpool’s first team as a long-term defensive partner alongside Virgil van Dijk.
However, Bekhti believes that shouldn’t be a problem for the defender as long as he listens to Jurgen Klopp and works on his game.
“With a coach like Jurgen Klopp he will still improve, get stronger and that's all I wish for him. It was a pleasure to take him through the (youth) stages.
“At Liverpool, he can become a top player. He is young, talented, plays in one of the most equipped teams in the world and with Virgil van Dijk by his side, he will learn a lot.”