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Liverpool relishing “massive advantage” for Ibrahima Konate in pre-season

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Ibrahima Konate is officially a Liverpool player with it now July 1 and the Reds are excited about his “world-class potential” and the “massive advantage” of his pre-season presence.

The Reds tied up the £36 million deal for the young Frenchman at the end of May after triggering his release clause at RB Leipzig, bolstering the centre-back ranks.

The 22-year-old arrives with experience and plenty of admirers, where he is seen as a first-team option for both the present and the long-term.

The 6ft 4 defender has embraced his move having enjoyed a Liverpool-themed party with his family during the summer and with the Olympics not on the agenda a full pre-season awaits with Jurgen Klopp and co.

And assistant manager Peter Krawietz has explained the importance of having Konate available from the first day after the club blocked Olympic involvement for their players.

“This is always a massive advantage if you can join in the full pre-season, especially for a new player,” Krawietz told LiverpoolFC.com.

“There are a few things which will be different for him from Leipzig coming to Liverpool.

2F88FPG Ibrahima KONATE (L) Soccer 1st Bundesliga, 28th matchday, SV Werder Bremen (HB) - RB Leipzig (L) 1: 4, on April 10th, 2021 in Bremen/Germany. #DFL regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video # A | usage worldwide

“Giving him enough time to adapt, to learn, to know the coaching staff and the manager, to give him time to adapt to the whole process of the pre-season and tactically to learn about our style of play – which is not completely different but the details are the most important thing – and to adapt in a physical way [is important].

“[We will be] getting a rested player who will have had a holiday. He will be fit and will have enough time to prepare his move to Liverpool as well, which is so important.

“And then having the time to train with the team together, this is a massive, massive advantage.”

The adjustment period is one that differs from one player to the next under Klopp and having the full four-week training block before the 2021/22 season gets underway will be crucial.

More so when you consider that Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are all returning from long-term injuries and will be managed accordingly on their return.

2D64T6B France U21's Ibrahima Konate

And the sky is the limit for Konate at Anfield, but there is a clear understanding that he is far from the finished product, an exciting thought for Liverpool’s coaches.

“In him we see the absolute potential to develop into a world-class centre-half. That’s of course what we want,” Krawietz added.

“We are very, very positive about him and very optimistic about the development he will need to do. It will be a process to learn all these things, but his quality and talent are so obvious.”

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