Liverpool complete signing of defender Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig
Liverpool have strengthened their defence for next season with the signing of Ibrahima Konate from German side RB Leipzig.
The Reds said the 22-year-old had agreed a long-term contract, with the deal subject to international clearance.
“I’m really happy to be joining such a massive club like Liverpool,” Konate told his new club’s official website.
“It’s a really exciting moment for me and my family and I am really looking forward to meeting my new team-mates, the staff and getting started on this new chapter.”
Konate is part of France’s under-21 squad at the European Championship, but said: “After this competition I know I will be joining one of the best teams in the world and that gives me a great feeling.
“I have worked very hard for many years to get to this point, but I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at RB Leipzig and all the people I worked with there – the coaches, my team-mates, the staff and especially the fans.
“Your support helped me grow up during my time there and become not only a better player, but a better man and I will always be grateful for it.”
Konate represents another acquisition for Liverpool from the Red Bull stable of clubs, having recruited Naby Keita from Leipzig and Takumi Minamino from RB Salzburg.
Konate was with Leipzig for four seasons, having come through the academy system at French club Sochaux.
He adds greater depth to Liverpool’s back line, following a season in which injuries to the likes of Virgil van Dijk wrecked their hopes of defending the Premier League title.
He is regarded as being a defender who is very comfortable in possession who is able to bring the ball forward and launch attacks.
“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to add a player of Ibrahima’s quality to our squad and he is someone I’ve admired for a long time, ever since I first became aware of his potential when he was at Sochaux,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“After the problems we had with injuries in the centre-half position last season, there’s no doubt it was clear it was an area of the team we needed to strengthen – but I first have to say that the job Nat (Phillips), Rhys (Williams) and Ozan (Kabak) did was incredible. Unbelievable really.
“In Ibrahima we are signing a player who will add to the quality we already have here. His physical attributes are very impressive; he is quick, he is very strong and he is dominant in the air.
“He comes to us after playing more than 90 times for Leipzig in the Bundesliga and European football. He played for a team in the Champions League in high-pressure matches, who have a similar football vision to ourselves.
“I am confident we are signing a player who can play for us right away, but he is a boy of 22 years of age who has room to improve because of his massive potential.”
It seemed almost impossible mere weeks ago, but Liverpool’s strong finish to the season secured their place in the Champions League for a fifth successive season.
Not since the era of Rafael Benitez have the Reds enjoyed such a lengthy run in Europe’s leading competition.
A 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Anfield in the last Premier League game of the season ensured a top-four finish with the Reds ultimately finishing in third place after taking 26 points from the final 30 available.
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