LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp confirms Ibrahima Konate injury “doubt” vs. Newcastle

Jurgen Klopp has revealed Ibrahima Konate is a doubt for Sunday’s trip to Newcastle, in an unneeded blow to the defence.

The debate over what Liverpool need more, a centre-back or a midfielder, has grown louder the closer we come to the end of the summer transfer window (September 1).

With the change in system, the importance of the Reds’ centre-backs has grown and Konate plays a significant role on the right, with Trent Alexander-Arnold moving further forward in possession.

Konate is one of the first names on the team sheet but in his pre-match press conference, Klopp revealed the Frenchman “is a doubt” with a muscle injury for the trip to Newcastle.

The manager went on to say, “playing 40 minutes [vs. Bournemouth] with 10 men didn’t help. That’s the situation.”

Liverpool’s No. 5 played the full 90 minutes last weekend and has missed training since Tuesday, meaning either Joel Matip or Joe Gomez will be expected to take his place.

It is a big hole to fill with pace a key trait needed with vast space to cover, and Matip has already admitted he will “need to adapt” to the new system as “the right-back will not be there in the first moment.”

Klopp went on to say, “in an ideal world we have six, seven, eight centre halves,” but there was not much optimism of another being added this summer.

In other team news, Trent Alexander-Arnold is available after a knock to his ankle while both Curtis Jones and Thiago will be back in contention for selection against Aston Villa on September 3.

Klopp also touched on the “very good news” of Alexis Mac Allister being available for selection after his three-game suspension for a red card was overturned.