Soccer

Jamie Carragher gives early verdict on Liverpool summer transfer Ibrahima Konate

After a disastrous attempt at retaining their Premier League crown was scuppered by an injury crisis to a number of key players, including the three first choice centre-backs, it is hardly a surprise Jurgen Klopp's first move of the transfer window was to bolster his defensive options.

Liverpool recently parted ways with £36m to acquire the services of RB Leipzig star Ibrahima Konate as they aim to drastically improve on last season's third-place finish, securing Champions League football on the final day of the campaign.

Someone who knows exactly what it takes to thrive in front of the Kop as a centre-back is Jamie Carragher, who spent 17 years at Anfield before calling time on his one-club career.

The former Liverpool stalwart was asked to give his views on Konate and what he could bring to Klopp's side, though he conceded he had only seen snippets of the 22-year-old Frenchman.

Carragher explained to the Liverpool Echo: "I’ve seen snippets of him in the Champions League, obviously last season when Leipzig did really well. I watched him this season and I watched him a few days ago for France [U21s] and he just looks massive.

"He’s big and I like the size of him, he looks like he can cover the ground, he’s got big long strides when I was watching him play and he looks a huge presence and you just trust Liverpool with signings, you just do now."

Konate formed one half of European football's most impressive centre-back pairings alongside Dayot Upamecano, who will ply his trade for German giants Bayern Munich next season.

The Frenchman's experience at the highest level is likely to be one of the many factors that made the deal so appealing to Klopp, who is likely to deploy Konate as the partner of Virgil van Dijk when the crocked star returns to full-fitness, having been out of action since last October.

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