Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate will 'be out for a while' after suffering injury


 Ibrahima Konate of Liverpool celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One match between SL Benfica and Liverpool FC at Estadio da Luz on April 05, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Liverpool will start their new Premier League campaign without centre-back Ibrahima Konaté after Jurgen Klopp revealed the Frenchman will miss Saturday's match against Fulham

Konate picked up the injury during Liverpool's pre-season defeat against Strasbourg, which took place just 24 hours after their Community Shield victory over Man City.

Klopp outlined the defender will 'be out for a while' as Liverpool attempt to get their season off to a flying start revealing they will 'have to see how long it will take' till he returns. 

Konate's injury not only disrupts his own plans to get minutes ahead of the summer World Cup but also meddles with the future of Nat Phillips who is wanted by both Bournemouth and Fulham.

The wantaway defender has been given permission to leave Anfield should a transfer fee be agreed, but recent injuries means Phillips could be denied a move elsewhere with Klopp saying Konate's absence 'will influence the outgoing transfers.'

He previously impressed supporters when forced to step in at the heart of Liverpool's defence in Premier League and Champions League matches when the team's defence was riddled with injuries.

Joel Matip, Virgil Van-Dijk, and Joe Gomez would be the club's only fit central defenders should Phillips leave Liverpool while Konate is out of action. 

Konate joins an injury list which already includes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring), Diogo Jota (thigh), Curtis Jones (calf), Caoimhin Kelleher (groin), Kostas Tsimikas (knock) and Naby Keita (illness). 

'Kostas [Tsimikas] unlucky in a training situation. He might be ready to train next week which is helpful,' said Klopp.

'Curtis [Jones] we hope we caught it at the right moment. Sometimes with young players they have a stress reaction. 

'We have to be careful. Naby [Keita] I think will be back today the first day. Yesterday some symptoms still, not covid, but not right.'

The German further delved into his plans for Saturday's early kick off as he backed new big-money striker Darwin Nunez to hit the ground running, but explained that the Uruguayan may have to make his first league appearance from the bench.

Nunez has been brought in to fill the goals void left by Sadio Mane - who joined Bayern Munich - but faces stiff competition in the striking department from fellow South American Roberto Firmino.

'Darwin is ready but that doesn't mean he has to start. He needs time to get used to a lot of things but he's already a real help. 

'It was a proper pre-season training session for him. He said he was nervous early on. Normal. He's settled quickly. Feels at home.

'They are different players [Firmino and Nunez], they get on. They are both from South America, both offensive players but different positions. 

'Firmino is an exceptional player.'

Liverpool will kick off their new Premier League season against newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday August 6. 


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