What an unbelievable signing Ibrahima Konate has proven at Liverpool.
Liverpool raised questions last summer by spending £36 million on the powerful French centre-back.
Nobody questioned the signing of Konate per se, but he was the only player to join Jurgen Klopp’s side during that transfer window and that, above anything else, upset a lot of Reds’ supporters.
But with Klopp’s troops halfway toward an unprecedented quadruple this season, the German manager been completely vindicated in only signing one player last summer.
The reason why Liverpool are 50 percent of the way to winning four trophies is because on Saturday, the Anfield outfit beat Chelsea on penalties to lift the FA Cup.
On another day, though, Konate might’ve cost them. Big time.
During extra time, Konate bundled over Hakim Ziyech in the penalty area and although Liverpool got away with it, Jermaine Jenas has told BBC Sport that it was ‘really clumsy’ all the same.
He said: “It’s very clumsy from Konate. If the ref gives it, you can’t argue against it, type of moment. It wasn’t big enough to be turned over – it was about how it was perceived by Craig Pawson.”
Konate needs Van Dijk
It was the only problem Konate had all afternoon and it probably wasn’t a coincidence that it happened once Virgil van Dijk went off, to be replaced with Joel Matip.
Matip is a fantastic centre-back, but Konate plays a lot better when he’s alongside the big Dutchman and it’ll be fascinating to see who Klopp uses in the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28.
Van Dijk is guaranteed to start – fitness permitting – and honestly, the former Leipzig powerhouse will probably start alongside him, rather than Matip.
But the incident with Ziyech is a reminder that as brilliant as Konate is, he’s still capable of taking unnecessary gambles and although they got away with it against Chelsea, they might not against Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
In other news, Aston Villa want to sign ‘strong and dynamic’ left-footed Nigerian star