The Reds have confirmed that a deal for Konate has been made for an amount of around £ 36million – a sum that would be paid in full as it is about the player’s release clause – and Liverpool fans will be able to watch it in action from Monday. as France faces the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the U21 European Championships.
Ahead of the U21 Euros, during which Konate will be regularly present for France, ECHO spoke with Joe Donnohue of Scouted Football, who writes about young talent across Europe, to select the best players to watch and those who may one day be of interest to Liverpool, with the 22-year-old among them.
“Konate is someone who is natural in the midfield and has experience at the highest level of German football, so Liverpool fans should be excited,” Donnohue said.
“With Konate, the last few seasons he’s had some injury issues, which isn’t what Liverpool fans want to hear, but as a talented player he’s someone who will represent France at the level senior in the future. “
Konate’s injuries have been long-term injuries rather than short-term issues of the kind that Joel Matip, in particular, has tended to struggle with, and Liverpool have carried out all the necessary medical checks.
The deal wouldn’t have been signed had they not been 100% convinced Konate could put his injuries behind him, and despite only making 22 Bundesliga appearances in total in the two recent seasons, Liverpool believe that is nothing to worry about.
Listen to the full U21 Euros preview podcast by clicking HERE.
Rather, he is a player who has managed to fly under the radar compared to one or two of the other RB Leipzig stars who have developed under Nagelsmann, with Liverpool spotting something in him that others have missed.
“There has always been a lot of Dayot Upamecano who has also been at RB Leipzig alongside Konate and also Ozan Kabak, whom they had on loan from Schalke, where he will return now,” explained Donnohue.
“But Konate’s defensive fundamentals are there, as sometimes we’ve seen a few nicks in Upamecano’s defensive play, especially in Champions League matches.
“With Konate, there will be less than nine performances out of 10, but there will also be less than four performances out of 10 than you could achieve with Upamecano.
“I would compare that to when Arsenal went for William Saliba at Saint-Etienne and Leicester went for Wesley Fofana at Nice.
You’ll receive the latest Blood Red written articles, plus the best Liverpool FC podcasts and videos featuring our journalists twice a week, all straight to your inbox for FREE!
Register here – it only takes a few seconds!
“I think while other teams might opt for the more fashionable signing, it’s a smart deal for a defender who for the next six or seven years could be at the top of his game. “
“It is a very well marked path of [Liverpool] tackle a lesser-known player but better suited to the way you want to play football.
“With Liverpool you can trust their signings because Michael Edwards knows the alignment between Jurgen Klopp, technical staff and recruiting staff.
“This is a well-thought-out transfer with the future in mind, not just a quick fix. “
At 22, Konate still has plenty of time to develop, but Liverpool expect him to be a regular next season as Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Matip all return.
Favorable comparisons with Upamecano, for whom Bayern Munich paid similar fees to Konate, are certainly exciting, but those aren’t the only reasons Liverpool fans should be happy with their first summer addition.
Konate’s merits are clear and his aptitude for Liverpool’s system makes him an attractive addition to Klopp’s side in an area in desperate need of strengthening.