Liverpool have made a solid start to the new campaign, winning four of their opening five matches in all competitions as Jurgen Klopp’s charges aim to bounce back from a disappointing 2020/21.
The Reds’ troubles last term were largely down to a severe injury crisis at the heart of their defence, with all three of their senior centre-backs suffering season-ending issues by January.
Klopp looked to address that issue over the summer by bringing in Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig in a £36m deal, adding to the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
The time has surely come, though, for Klopp to place his trust in the Frenchman and give Matip a much-needed rest when Crystal Palace visit Anfield over the weekend.
The Cameroon international has played every single minute of Liverpool’s season so far, putting in top-class performances alongside both Van Dijk and Gomez on Premier League and Champions League duty.
As a result, Klopp must protect one of his most senior centre-backs and rotate his starting lineup when the Eagles attempt to pull off their second giantkilling in a row following their 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
Konate already appears to have won over his teammates after Trent Alexander-Arnold lauded him during an interview with Sky Sports.
“He’s a very athletic boy, which is probably something more common now with centre-backs,” said the England right-back. “Being amazing athletes, who are fast and strong, and he ticks all those boxes. He’s still young. But he’s got huge potential.”
The time is right for Klopp to give Konate a chance to impress him and Liverpool supporters alike by gifting him his Reds debut in front of a packed Anfield on Saturday.