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Virgil van Dijk knows “the future is bright” for Liverpool with Ibrahima Konate

For the third time in as many games Ibrahima Konate opened the scoring for Liverpool, but it was an all-around performance that again caught the eye.

The 22-year-old had to bide his time after arriving at Liverpool in the summer having made only two appearances before mid-October, with Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip the first-choice pairing.

But in the months since, Konate has taken his tally to 22 games across all competitions and has grown leaps and bounds in that time – and he has yet to taste defeat on the pitch.

In the FA Cup semi-final, Jurgen Klopp opted for the Frenchman over Matip and his thumping header to open the scoring was just one impressive facet of his game.

Konate was quick to step out of the line, impose himself on the contest and the occasion hardly got the better of him, firmly looking at home alongside Virgil van Dijk.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 16, 2022: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté (R) celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Cup Semi-Final game between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And the Dutchman knows the “future is bright” for the club with Konate in the ranks, with his performances defying his tender 22 years.

“Very [impressive]. He has made a great impact, he is working hard every day; good mentality, work rate incredible,” Van Dijk told BBC Sport.

“Obviously he has to perform when he is called upon and he is doing just that. Still so young it’s incredible how good he already is.

“Everyone in Liverpool should appreciate what we got, the future is bright.”

The expectation is that Konate will one day assume a regular starting position for the Reds having shown all the qualities needed to do so.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 27, 2022: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté (L) and Andy Robertson dance as they celebrate after the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. Liverpool won 11-10 on penalties after a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp previously hailed Konate as a “physically outstanding” footballer and with the pace and physicality to play in his system, the future certainly is looking bright.

He represents one of a handful of young talents in the current squad that also includes Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who you can forget is only 23 years of age.

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