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Ibrahima Konate set for 6-week break after France U21s early Euros exit

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Liverpool’s new centre-back Ibrahima Konate has seen his summer shot at triumph with France’s under-21s cut short after his side fell to a 2-1 defeat against the Netherlands.

The 22-year-old led out a French team littered with talent on Monday for the quarter-final tie against the Netherlands, merely three days after he sealed his switch to Liverpool.

Konate lined up alongside former RB Leipzig teammate and soon to be Bayern Munich bound Dayot Upamecano, a centre-backing pairing that could rival senior teams, and ahead of Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Houssem Aouar, who Liverpool are known to hold interest in, also lined up alongside Konate against a Dutch outfit with Sven Botman, who was linked with the Reds in the winter window.

Konate took up the right-sided centre-back spot and showed off his pace and reaction time, not afraid to help cover his teammates when danger presented itself.

And France got the upper hand in the 23rd minute thanks to a thumping header from Upamecano, who was unmarked from a corner and allowed to steer the ball into the net.

2D64T6B France U21's Ibrahima Konate

The Dutch threatened an equaliser while France saw one of their efforts needing to be tipped over the bar before the end of the first 45.

But the Dutch would equalise just six minutes after half-time through AZ Alkmaar’s Myron Boadu, after he intercepted a shot inside the box having been adjudged to be narrowly onside, with VAR not in use during the tournament.

A breakaway from France looked destined to see them assume the lead once more, only for desperate defending and the upright to deny them.

At the other end Konate proved instrumental in stopping an attack in its track with a well-timed tackle on the edge of his area.

But late drama would see France knocked out at the death despite their late dominance after Boadu netted his second of the day just when extra-time looked certain to decide the tie.

Fans watching on did note the impressive nature of Konate’s performance:

It means Konate will commence his summer break of six weeks, which will ease his transition before linking up with members of the Liverpool squad for the start of pre-season on July 12.

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