Ibrahima Konate bolstered Liverpool’s defensive ranks when he became Jürgen Klopp’s first signing ahead of the 2021-22 season.
The France centre-back agreed a move to the Reds from RB Leipzig after four seasons with the Bundesliga club in which he played almost a century of games in domestic and European competition.
Konate’s first steps in football came with Paris FC before he joined the academy of FC Sochaux in 2014 and switched from an aspiring striker to the middle of defence.
He progressed through the ranks at Sochaux and made his professional debut in January 2017, which was followed by a run of Ligue 2 appearances in the second half of that 2016-17 season.
Konate’s promising performances quickly caught the attention of Leipzig and they swooped to sign the defender on a free transfer that summer.
Ibrahima went on to play 95 times for Leipzig in all competitions, with almost half of that tally coming during a standout 2018-19 campaign.
With Konate a consistent figure, Die Roten Bullen finished third in the Bundesliga – boasting the division’s best defensive record – and were runners-up in the German cup.
He also gained Champions League experience with eight runouts in the tournament before the Reds finalised a deal to bring him to Anfield.
“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,” said Klopp.
“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.”