With everyone thinking they would spend big in the summer to try and make up for the loss of Georginio Wijnaldum, Liverpool decided that money should rather go on adding depth to their defence.
Last season’s woes, with both Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez suffering long-term injuries, were still fresh in their mind, so Ibrahima Konaté was bought from RB Leipzig for a modest fee of £36m.
He’s only made four appearances so far, but this transfer was always seen as one for the future, with the Frenchman still only 22 years of age and some strong competition ahead of him for the time being.
The Liverpool centre-back was interviewed by Canal+ over the weekend, where he talked about the decision to swap Germany for England.
He said: “When you arrive in such a club, you do so with a bit of apprehension, but if there’s a club ready to put such an amount on you, and the manager is talking to you, making you understand he wants you. Jürgen Klopp is, I think, one of the best managers in the world. We spoke a lot on the phone. I asked him personal questions, he did too.
“What I really felt was a trust, and I felt this club was really a mythical club, different from the others, and I felt myself being here even before I’d signed, so all this is why I took the decision to come to this club”.
With a long season ahead, there will undoubtedly be more chances for Konaté to convince his manager he deserves a longer run of games, and perhaps the recent 3-2 loss against West Ham could force him to rethink he defence.
Either way, the player is ready for the challenge: “I told myself that if I come to Liverpool, yes it’s another level, but I trust my abilities, so I’m going to do everything to earn my spot, whether it be short-term or long-term”.
Only time will tell whether or not he achieves his goals of breaking into Klopp’s first-team plans, but Konaté is certainly not short on ambition, and it’s clear he will work hard to get what he wants, as he has done in his career to date, earning himself a move to such a prestigious club at a young age after four years at RB Leipzig.