Konate’s 2022/23 season to date has been stop-start thanks to injury, featuring just four times for Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
But his quality speaks for itself and it sees him as part of France’s World Cup squad as they look to defend their crown, and reports suggest he could start in their opener against Australia.
The 23-year-old enjoyed a standout debut season with Liverpool, featuring 29 times and playing alongside Van Dijk in 19 of those matches.
From seeing him on and off the pitch, Van Dijk named Konate as the Liverpool player who has taken him most by surprise during his time at Anfield, with the electric Luis Diaz also getting a mention.
“It’s a difficult one, but I think Konate over the last year, personality-wise he’s very outspoken, bubbly, and chatty, but on the pitch, he’s quality of course,” Van Dijk told Pitch Side.
“An incredible player for now, but also for the future. He’s the first one that comes to mind.
“But also Luis Diaz, coming in in the winter, for me personally knowing how difficult it can be, joining a new team and settling as quickly as he did, so those two guys come to mind immediately.”
Two genius transfers from the club within the space of seven months.
As for the best player he’s ever played with, Van Dijk’s answer will not come as a complete surprise to Liverpool supporters having witnessed his game intelligence for more than seven years.
“At Liverpool, probably Bobby Firmino. Knowing how difficult it is playing against him as a defender because he drops deep,” Van Dijk explained.
“With the national team, we’ve got Frenkie de Jong, who is really good.
“When he made his debut, we started to really change the way we play, and he’s so influential for us. He’s incredible, and hopefully, he will do very well for us at the World Cup.”
Speaking of De Jong, the Dutchman recently spoke of how “one guy told me I had to join Liverpool” when the Netherlands squad met with migrant workers who helped build the infrastructure in Qatar. Unlikely, but you’ve got to appreciate the effort.