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Klopp couldn’t make Konate promise, but defender reveals key to manager’s lure

Ibrahima Konate has revealed how he began planning to win his place before joining Liverpool thanks to a conversation with Jurgen Klopp.

Konate was the only senior signing of the summer for Liverpool in 2021. He arrived to ease their concerns in defence after a number of injuries the previous season. So far, he hasn’t played as much as Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, but has featured more than Joe Gomez.

The Frenchman has not started a Premier League match since Liverpool’s first fixture in January. However, he came on in the Carabao Cup final recently. With Matip ruled out for their next match against West Ham, he could be set to take his place.

The summer signing has now opened up on his decision to join Liverpool in the summer, and how he always knew he wouldn’t be guaranteed regular gametime.

Konate has told Sky Sports how conversations with manager Klopp helped persuade him.

“Yes, I spoke with him two or three times,” Konate said. “If Jurgen Klopp calls you, you think a lot about this! He does not call you for nothing!

“But we speak a lot, about me, my private life, about him also, the club, the mentality of the players, everything.

“It is not just me and him, you know, it is about everything I take this decision – the mentality of the club, the players with who I will work every day, about the city, about everything and with this, I made my decision.

“I asked him if I will play or not and he said, ‘yes, you will play.’ He did not tell me, ‘yes you will play a lot like you are the first defender’, or ‘you will not play a lot like you are the last defender’.

“But it was always like that with me. When I was with Sochaux, when I go to Germany, the coach never told me, ‘Yes you will play a lot.’

“No, it is always with me, I train a lot and after step by step, I win my place and why not with Liverpool I cannot do this? And this is good, as after this, I will work a lot.”

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