Arsenal could sign their own Virgil van Dijk in RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate.
According to The Evening Standard, Mikel Arteta’s side are one of a number of clubs tracking the 21-year-old ahead of a potential move for him in the summer transfer window.
The reports claims that Konate is being scouted by sides all across Europe in the hope that he could be made available for a transfer, with the Gunners one of those teams as they consider bringing in another centre-back.
It is added however that “they would be expected to face competition from several of Europe’s top sides”.
For all of Liverpool’s attacking success in recent seasons with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, the real cornerstone for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side has of course been Virgil van Dijk.
The towering Dutchman arrived in a big-money deal from Southampton, and has helped them to both a Premier League and Champions League title.
Much like Van Dijk, Konate is also a powerful centre-back, coming in at an imposing 6 foot 4.
And, Bundesliga.com themselves have made that comparison between Konate and Van Dijk, saying he plays a bit like the Dutchman. They added: “Likening Konate to one of the best centre-backs in recent times may seem like a premature comparison. It’s not. There are few in the position who excel at so many aspects of the game as the young Frenchman.
“Whether it be in terms of positioning, sticking tight to the striker, intercepting passes, tackling or building from the back, Konate cannot just do it all, he makes it look easy. He has the pace to match the quickest of attackers and the physique to bully – rather than be bullied by – muscular strikers much more experienced than he is.”
Ralf Rangnick spoke glowingly about Konate’s ability and potential, saying: “We’ve been watching Ibrahima Konate for some time. He’s a young, highly-gifted player who’ll strengthen our defence. We’re very happy to have been able to bring in this top talent and that Ibrahima can take the next step in his career here.”
If the Gunners can land Konate, who looks as physically dominant and gifted with the ball like Van Dijk, they could well have their own powerhouse in the middle of defence next season. It would truly be an Edu masterclass, especially given that they are reported to face competition for him.
If he goes on to have an impact anywhere close to what Van Dijk has at Anfield, he’ll be an unbelievably good signing for the Gunners.