Ibrahima Konate is already a “huge example” to Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool fans are curious to see how large summer signing Ibrahima Konate is adjusting to his new surroundings, but one of his teammates has warned Premier League rivals that the £36 million man is already at ease.
Liverpool revealed on May 28 that they had triggered the release clause in Konate’s RB Leipzig contract, and the 22-year-old officially moved to Anfield on July 1 after weeks of feverish speculation.
As Konate near the end of his first month with Jurgen Klopp’s squad, fellow French centre-back Billy Koumetio has detailed how Konate has adjusted to his new surroundings.
“Me and Konate, we talk a lot,” Koumetio said on the club’s website. I adore him; not only is he a nice man, but he’s also a fantastic player.
“He’s a fantastic ball player who can both attack and defend. We spend a lot of time discussing. He’s made himself at home.”
Still only 18, Koumetio made his professional Liverpool debut in a Champions League dead rubber against Midtjylland in December. Now training with the first team group, he says that he is constantly absorbing lessons from the more seasoned centre-backs alongside him.
“They are major examples, not only Virgil ( Van Dijk ), but also Joel ( Matip ), Joe ( Gomez ), Konate, Rhys ( Williams ), Nat ( Phillips ), and Ben ( Williams ),” he remarked ( Davies ).
“I’m learning from them all; they’re all different, so you can take something from everyone of them.
“We’re all delighted to see them. They’re fantastic young men who are also big, massive players.”
Klopp dubbed him “Billy the Kid” after he was selected on the bench for a Carabao Cup encounter against Arsenal when he was still 16 years old, saying, “He doesn’t look like a kid.”
“His face, in my opinion, looks like that of a child, but the rest is like ‘Wow!’”
Koumetio has also laid out his plans for the approaching election season.
“I want to keep going, keep the training rhythm going, then play some games and continuing playing in pre-season to demonstrate what I can do and how I can help the team,” he said.
“The summary comes to an end.”