Ibrahima Konate made his Liverpool debut last weekend and has already drawn comparisons with Reds star Virgil van Dijk but the Frenchman has refuted those
Liverpool new boy Ibrahima Konate has dismissed comparisons with Virgil van Dijk, whom he considers the best defender in the world.
The Frenchman moved to Anfield in the summer from RB Leipzig to bolster the team’s backline.
In Germany he had enjoyed a rapid rise and the Reds spent over £30m to acquire his services.
Konate was Liverpool’s only major summer arrival but has already impressed having made his debut against Crystal Palace last weekend.
He played alongside Van Dijk but insists he is aspiring to match the Dutchman’s level.
“No no I cannot compare to Virgil,” he told Sky Sports when quizzed on comparisons between them.
“He showed to the world that he’s the best defender, I haven’t. I hope with time I can show that.”
Konate and Van Dijk teamed up to keep Palace goalless as the Reds won 3-0 on Merseyside.
“You can see he is incredibly talented. The potential is outstanding,” Jurgen Klopp said of his new signing.
“He is used to winning challenges easy. He is young and he played a really good game. Massive. First home game for him.”
Konate joins a Liverpool team who have enjoyed huge success under Klopp in recent years.
They are looking to respond from a difficult year last term, where injuries hampered the defence of their Premier League title.
But the new face on Merseyside is confident they can bounce back impressive.
He added: “Now we have to be focused game by game, we have Champions League and lots of game, but with this team I think we can do big things.”
When asked about the potential of a league and European double he responded: “This isn’t easy but if we can why not.”
Liverpool will head to the capital this weekend to take on top flight new boys Brentford, who have started the year well.
Klopp is dealing with a host of injuries as Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Milner, Naby Keita, Thiago, Roberto Firmino and Neco Williams all deal with issues.
“Trent was not injured, Trent was a little bit ill. He’s back in training, trained yesterday and will be fine,” said the German.
“Neco made [his] first steps the day before yesterday; yesterday a [recovery] day; will be in training today, if it’s 100 per cent, we will see how he can cope with it.
“James was a similar thing to Trent, so he should be recovered. I saw him running around here, nobody told me differently – I assume he will be in training today.
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“Naby probably not. It’s not a serious thing but we have to wait until the pain settles, pretty much. We will see about that. Thiago, no chance.
“Bobby trained already for two or three days, so he is back in contention, let me say it like this. We used him a little bit as a ‘joker’ [in training].
“But he will be in the normal training and then we have to make a decision if we take him with us or not. Porto, 100 per cent. Brentford, we have to see.”