Liverpool face Ajax in Amsterdam for their penultimate Champions League group-stage clash, and Jurgen Klopp has delivered a promising injury update ahead of the game.
The Liverpool manager took to his pre-match press conference to reveal that Ibrahima Konate will be in contention for some game time tonight.
Klopp told the media: “He is here, ready to play minutes I would say.”
There is no doubt that the return of Konate is good news for Liverpool after a disappointing defensive performance in the Premier League at the weekend – when the Reds lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest at The City Ground.
Joe Gomez has been occupying the right side of Liverpool’s centre-back partnership with Virgil Van Dijk, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Klopp decides to shake up the starting line-up after the disappointing result on Saturday.
Konate has been a solid force for the side since he joined the club back in the summer of 2021, playing a crucial part in Liverpool’s pursuit for four trophies last season and was given the nod to start in the Champions League final against Real Madrid owing to his form.
Over eight appearances in the prestigious European competition last season, Konate scored two goals, enjoyed an average of 78.5 touches, made 1.6 interceptions, two tackles and 2.9 clearances per game, and won 59% of his duels combined.
In the Frenchman’s only Champions League outing in the current campaign, the 23-year-old made one interception, one tackle and four clearances, as well as won a whopping eight duels and tallied up a 92% pass completion rate over his 79-minutes on the pitch against Rangers.
Klopp is a huge admirer of the defender and hailed Konate an “exceptional talent” back in January (via Anfield Watch):
“I think we all agree he’s an exceptional talent, physically outstanding and a good footballer as well.”
With that being said, whether Konate plays the full game or just a few minutes against Ajax, it will be a huge relief for the manager that he has a key player he can trust to come into the back-line over the upcoming games ahead.