The sense of trust from Liverpool was key for Ibrahima Konate as he considered his switch to Anfield, with the club’s “mythical” feeling only adding to his desire to become a Red.
The Frenchman was the only summer signing for Liverpool having joined in a £36 million deal from RB Leipzig, boosting the centre back ranks that were besieged by injury last season.
The 22-year-old has since made four appearances having slowly transitioned into the squad following the return to fitness of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.
It was a coup for the club and Konate’s decision to swap the Bundesliga for the Premier League came down to the trust shown by the club and that Liverpool was “different from the others.”
“When you arrive in such a club, you do so with a bit of apprehension, but if there’s a club ready to put such an amount on you, and the manager is talking to you, making you understand he wants you,” Konate told Canal+, via Sport Witness.
“Jurgen Klopp is, I think, one of the best managers in the world. We spoke a lot on the phone. I asked him personal questions, he did too.
“What I really felt was a trust, and I felt this club was really a mythical club, different from the others.
“I felt myself being here even before I’d signed, so all this is why I took the decision to come to this club.”
Konate has shown the qualities that saw Liverpool pursue his signature in his appearances to date but he still has plenty of growth in him and he is not short on competition for a spot in the XI.
But with faith in his own abilities comes with the patience to prove himself in both the now and the future, with the 22-year-old prepared to “do everything” to make himself a key figure for Klopp.
“I told myself that if I come to Liverpool, yes it’s another level, but I trust my abilities,” he added.
“So I’m going to do everything to earn my spot, whether it be short-term or long-term.”
Konate has long been thought of as a long-term successor to one or both of Van Dijk and Matip, with his slow transition into the side expected due to the time needed to adjust.
It was echoed by assistant manager Pep Lijnders last month after detailing how Andy Robertson offered words from his own experience.
“Robbo said it to him: ‘All of us, we need time to adapt to our style’. So Robbo explains it, and that’s how they take care of him,” Lijnders said.
“He’s settling in well, he’s a beast in terms of physicality, he can catch so many players, he’s strong in the air, has a really good buildup, so strong offensively as well.”