Ibrahima Konate (Fra) FOOTBALL : France espoirs vs Republique Tcheque - 09/09/2019 JBAutissier/Panoramic.

Ibrahima Konate rewarded with first-ever senior France call-up

Ibrahima Konate‘s imperious first-season form at Liverpool has been recognised, with the centre-back a late addition to the France senior squad.

Konate was a standout during his maiden campaign at Anfield, with a series of increasingly strong performances as he swapped in for Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk.

The 23-year-old saw his time with the France under-21s end prior to his switch to Merseyside, but there had been no recognition from Didier Deschamps throughout the season.

Now, however, Konate has been drafted into the senior squad for their upcoming UEFA Nations League clashes with Croatia (twice) and Austria.

This comes after injury to Raphael Varane in their 2-1 loss to Denmark on Friday night, with the French Football Federation confirming the news on Saturday.

Konate is expected to join his team-mates – including Liverpool target Aurelien Tchouameni – in Split on Sunday, ahead of the first of two meetings with Croatia the following evening.

It is a well-deserved call-up for the £36 million signing from RB Leipzig, and arguably should have come sooner despite the fierce competition for places at centre-back.

2D64T6B France U21's Ibrahima Konate

Deschamps can also call upon Jules Kounde, Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez, William Saliba and Benjamin Pavard from the current squad, while Dayot Upamecano, Kurt Zouma, Clement Lenglet and Nordi Mukiele have all been involved of late.

This month will likely bring a full debut for Konate, then, which will come over a year after his last outing for France in the U21 Euro quarter-finals.

His inclusion is one of a number of changes for Liverpool’s international group already this month, with Thiago pulling out of Spain duty due to injury, Harvey Elliott testing positive for COVID-19 and Virgil van Dijk being granted early release by the Netherlands.