Liverpool kept their eighth clean sheet of the 2023-24 Premier League campaign in their 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on Sunday, and both Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate were solid at the back.
The France international is in his third season at the Merseyside club and has grown in leaps and bounds, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the English top-flight.
Many regard his partnership with Van Dijk as one of the best in the world, and BBC pundit Garth Crooks is convinced that Konate has what it takes to succeed the Dutchman as Liverpool captain after he put in yet another commanding display on Sunday.
“If Sunday’s match at Bournemouth had been a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it,” Crooks wrote in his Team of the Week column.
“The hosts never laid a glove on Liverpool, who were comfortable 4-0 winners. The Reds dominated possession, while Konate and Virgil van Dijk never gave Dominic Solanke, Justin Kluivert or Luis Sinisterra a kick.
“Konate is looking more accomplished the more I see him. He was immense against Arsenal in the FA Cup earlier this month without Van Dijk by his side, and even better against Bournemouth. He is starting to look every inch a Liverpool captain of the future.”
The 24-year-old has featured in 23 games across all competitions this term and has hardly put a foot wrong in any of those appearances.
He has been unavailable for selection for four games due to a muscle injury this season after missing 15 games last term due to knocks, which is something he will be desperate to avoid.
Konate has to be always fit and available for selection if he wants to follow in the footsteps of Van Dijk in becoming the best centre-back in the land.
Liverpool need him available at all times going forward this term as they look to retain their place at the top of the Premier League table until the end of the campaign.
Winning the Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Europa League will also be on the mind of manager Jurgen Klopp, and the Reds can win all four competitions this term with Konate currently in the form of his life.
- Paul Merson predicts who will secure Champions League football – Tottenham or Aston Villa
- Chris Sutton predicts score of Everton clash v West Ham
- Predicted Everton starting line-up v West Ham
- FA Cup quarter-final predictions – Manchester City and Liverpool favourites ahead of United
- David Prutton predicts outcome of Huddersfield v Leeds United