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

Ibrahima Konate named in France squad for World Cup

Didier Deschamps named a 25-man squad for the World Cup on Wednesday evening, with Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate making the cut.

After a hugely impressive debut season for Liverpool in 2021/22, injuries have hampered Konate’s progress so far this term.

But despite only recently returning to fitness, Konate has been included in the holders’ squad for Qatar 2022.

The central defenders selected alongside him include Man United‘s Raphael Varane, who has been deemed ready for the tournament despite a recent injury, and Arsenal‘s William Saliba, who has played a key role in the Gunners’ success so far this season.

The other defenders in France’s squad are Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard, Konate’s former teammate Dayot Upamecano, Barcelona’s Jules Kounde, AC Milan’s Theo Hernandez and PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe.

Konate made his senior France debut in June and has now been selected for his first World Cup squad at the age of 23.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 6, 2022: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté (L) and Virgil van Dijk during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After impressing in last season’s Champions League final and completing the vast majority of Liverpool’s pre-season, Konate looked set to go into this campaign as Jurgen Klopp‘s preferred centre-back partner for Virgil van Dijk.

However, a knee problem sustained in the Reds’ final pre-season friendly against Strasbourg kept him out for the first two months of the campaign, before he picked up another minor injury issue in October.

Konate’s involvement for France means he joins Alisson and Fabinho as the Liverpool players to have been called up for the tournament so far, with Roberto Firmino left out of Tite’s Brazil squad.

Gareth Southgate is to announce his England squad on Thursday, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson expected to be included.

Van Dijk and Darwin Nunez are also anticipated to be involved in Qatar for the Netherlands and Uruguay respectively, while it remains to be seen whether Thiago will be included in Luis Enrique’s Spain squad.