Liverpool’s list of midfield targets seemingly grows with every passing day, but Khephren Thuram and Manu Kone remain at the forefront and gave plenty for fans to talk about on Thursday.
The pair were selected for France’s squad and both named in the starting XI as they met Italy in a game that ended in controversial circumstances.
France were 2-1 up with only moments left in the contest before Italy’s Raoul Bellanova saw his header cleared on the goalline, video evidence suggested it had crossed the line and a hand may have been involved in the clearance.
The referee waved play on and with no VAR or goal-line technology throughout the tournament, France hung on to their 2-1 win – but it was the performances of Thuram and Kone that caught Liverpool fans’ attention.
There are stronger links to Thuram, who could be available for £34.3 million, but it was Kone that outshone his team-mate on Thursday – though Liverpool fans had a clear message after seeing them in midfield together:
Manu Koné played a better game than Thuram, who honestly looked a bit rusty at times. But they are two different players, Both are good at winning possession, whilst Thuram is a better ball transporter and Koné a better passer. It's a question of what type you prefer.
— Maxi (@MaaxiAngelo) June 22, 2023
Thuram's ball progression is good. So big he draws in players to try dispossess him. If he find space, could be deadly for our front line
— LFCZA ?? (@LFCZA) June 22, 2023
Thuram, Kone, Van de Ven or Inacio.
Forget a project like Veiga. Forget a busted flush with a questionable attitude like Gravenberch, sign the two midfielders we need and a good LCB and we can sort the rest in 12 months.
— Dave Hendrick (@MrTwoFooted) June 22, 2023
Kone would be perfect for us in the double pivot. Fabinho’s legs gone. Bajcetic raw. Thiago injury prone.
Why on earth are we looking at Gravenberch I’ll never know. Kone in the 6 and Thuram as an 8 with Mac and it’s so much more like Klopp midfield
— Jay (@Jay82_LFC) June 22, 2023
Manu Koné awarded player of the U21 match today.
90% pass accuracy
2/2 long ball accuracy
3/4 successful dribbles
11/18 duels won
1 interception pic.twitter.com/S34b4JyYEw
— Moby (@Mobyhaque1) June 22, 2023
I've really enjoyed watching Manu Kone and Khephren Thuram tonight, I really won't enjoy it if we don't sign both of them! ?
— – (@JoshLFC1909) June 22, 2023
Seriously, Big Jorg and Big Jurg need to multitask and get Thuram and Kone sorted.
— LFCZA ?? (@LFCZA) June 22, 2023
Should be Thuram AND Kone.
— EssinemLFC (@essinem7) June 23, 2023
We could get Thuram and Kone for the price of Barella. It’s a no brainer to me.
— Olivia (@JotaBelieveIt) June 23, 2023
The links to Kone have quietened in recent weeks, but it is clear what Liverpool supporters think when it comes to their wishes for the club this summer.
Both are 22 years of age and with a high ceiling, and while their profiles differ there is a keen desire to see the club act quickly and see Alexis Mac Allister joined by more recruits.
We were given a glimpse at what they could offer at Anfield and with this only the first game of the tournament, we will see a lot more.
Question is, if Liverpool do decide to make a move will they wait until their time at the U21 Euros is complete? The sense among many fans is just that, but only time will tell.