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Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate has given Jurgen Klopp a headache

Liverpool marched into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Wednesday night after edging out Norwich City at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are in pursuit of a historic quadruple, and after clinching the Carabao Cup at the weekend against Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out, knew they could keep that dream alive in the other domestic cup competition last night.

And, a brace from Takumi Minamino proved to be the difference as a much-changed Liverpool team won two goals to one.

But while the Japan international has laid down his case as a very worthy rotation option heading into the business end of the season, it was one of Klopp’s centre-backs who has arguably given him the biggest headache: Ibrahima Konate.

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The former RB Leipzig star was joined alongside by Joe Gomez in a completely new central defensive partnership from the one Klopp has tended to favour this season in Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.

Out of the two who played yesterday, it’s Konate who’s shown the closest signs of being able to break that formidable duo up, and his performance against Norwich certainly proved why he’s the future of this Liverpool back-line.

As per Sofascore, he made a game-high three interceptions on the night, was not dribbled past a single time, won 100% of his total duels (two in the air and one on the ground) and looked an assured presence on the ball too.

He made a whopping 100 passes and had 125 touches of the ball – both of which placed him at the top for Liverpool – and completed eight out of his 14 attempted long balls as he showed that greater range to his passing on occasion as well.

And, writing in his post-match player ratings for This is Anfield, Mark Delgado gave him an eight, saying: “Looked a bit like a dad turning up to play with some kids at some points. Just strolled through it mostly, using the ball well, bullying attackers when they bothered to go near him and showing pace once or twice when needed.

“Shepherding the ball out of play under pressure from Rowe was a particularly fine exhibition of his mountainous stature.”

It was a performance of the highest order and has given Klopp plenty to think about before the crucial Premier League clash against West Ham on Saturday afternoon.

A Van Dijk and Konate partnership for the long-term is certainly a mouth-watering prospect, but one that could even be phased in much sooner too even despite Matip’s impressive form.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are eyeing this Uruguayan ace…

Article title: Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate has given Jurgen Klopp a headache

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