Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has delivered his verdict on the injury suffered by Liverpool star Ibrahima Konate on the eve of the new Premier League campaign.
The lowdown: Konate takes a knock
Partnered alongside Joe Gomez for the final pre-season friendly ahead of the 2022/23 season getting underway, Konate was forced off in the second half against Strasbourg on Sunday evening.
After the match, it was confirmed that the 23-year-old France international would undergo a scan to assess the extent of the issue suffered in a collision that saw the giant centre-defender limp off soon after.
Upon hearing about the injury, one pundit has had his say on the impact being without Konate could have on the Reds…
The latest: ‘Blow’
He said: “It would be a blow because he ended the season so well. You have to look at the strength in depth Liverpool have got though. Klopp will want a full strength squad available but that is not always the case.
“They have got plenty of players in that position who can cover. They can cope with it. Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are both top centre-halves. Losing Konate will be a blow though because he was a revelation last season.”
The verdict: Fingers crossed
Even though Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk were seemingly being geared up to start the opening day clash with Fulham having paired up against Manchester City and Gomez is a more than capable deputy, the potential absence of the £36million valued Frenchman from the squad would be a major setback in the preparations.
A clear favourite of Klopp’s, it will be hoped that the injury isn’t a significant one, having already lost Diogo Jota and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the opening weeks of the new term.
Furthermore, any lengthy layoff for the man who earns £70,000 per week at Anfield could restrict the possibility of Nat Phillips getting a move away amidst links to newly-promoted Bournemouth and Fulham.
Last season, Konate earned an impressive 6.99 Sofascore rating whilst winning 5.0 duels, making 3.4 clearances and 1.5 interceptions on average per game in what was a superb debut campaign following a move from RB Leipzig.
Hailed as a ‘machine’ by Jamie O’Hara for a standout UEFA Champions League performance against Villarreal, the powerful defender will be desperate to return to full fitness and win his place back in Klopp’s starting XI as soon as possible.
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