Klopp set to hand £36m star Liverpool debut

Jurgen Klopp is reportedly set to hand new signing Ibrahima Konate his first Liverpool start in one of their next two fixtures.

The centre-back was the Reds’ only signing of the summer, joining the club from RB Leipzig for £36million.

He is yet to feature for Klopp’s side, with the Liverpool boss instead turning to Joe Gomez – who made his first start in nearly a year – to give Virgil van Dijk a rest in their 3-2 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

But The Athletic claim Konate’s debut is on the horizon.

They state: ‘Ibrahima Konate’s debut will follow either at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday or away at Norwich City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.’

Liverpool struggled in defence last season due to the injuries to Van Dijk and Gomez and Klopp was adamant it was the area they needed to strengthen in the summer.

The German boss said when Konate was announced that he was “excited” by what the Frenchman could offer his team.

Klopp said: “I’m really pleased we’ve been able to add a player of Ibrahima’s quality to our squad and he is someone I’ve admired for a long time, ever since I first became aware of his potential when he was at Sochaux.

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“After the problems we had with injuries in the centre-half position last season, there’s no doubt it was clear it was an area of the team we needed to strengthen – but I first have to say that the job Nat, Rhys and Ozan did was incredible. Unbelievable really.

“In Ibrahima we are signing a player who will add to the quality we already have here. His physical attributes are very impressive; he is quick, he is very strong and he is dominant in the air.

“He comes to us after playing more than 90 times for Leipzig in the Bundesliga and European football. I’m sure that number would have been more but for some injury, but even so that means he already has experience of what it takes to compete in two outstandingly difficult competitions.

“He also played for a team in the Champions League in high-pressure matches, who have a similar football vision to ourselves.”

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