Home News Ibrahima Konate now OUT of France squad with injury problem explained

Ibrahima Konate now OUT of France squad with injury problem explained

2
0

After his surprise call-up while injured, Ibrahima Konate has now been cut from the France squad this month with the nature of his injury explained.

Konate has missed the last two games for Liverpool with an injury unspecified by the club, but he had been included by France manager Didier Deschamps.

Speaking upon the shock decision to call the defender up, Deschamps explained that “he’s supposed to be available,” though Jurgen Klopp had ruled him out until after the break.

The 24-year-old was then due for checks on Monday, before joining up with his international team-mates for a Euro 2024 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland and a friendly against Germany.

But the French Football Federation confirmed a day early that, having “insufficiently recovered,” Konate had been replaced by Jean-Clair Tobido.

Sunday’s news came as no surprise given Liverpool’s No. 5 had not been involved in recent weeks, with bemusement over his initial call-up.

KARLSRUHE, GERMANY - Wednesday, July 19, 2023: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Karlsruher SC and Liverpool FC at the Wildparkstadion. Liverpool won 4-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The FFF statement did, at least, provide clarity over Konate’s injury, with the issue in his left hamstring, having previously been described as a minor muscle problem.

It remains to be seen whether he will be fully fit in time for the trip to Wolves on September 16, though now there will no risks taken with France.

In Konate’s absence, Klopp has turned to Joel Matip, while a red card for Virgil van Dijk saw Joe Gomez step in against Newcastle off the bench and then starting in the 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.

“Both centre-halves played an exceptional game – with different jobs, to be honest,” Klopp told reporters after Sunday’s win.

“[Moussa] Diaby was hiding in midfield in the nine-and-a-half, 10 position, so Joey had to step in there. That leaves Joel in a one-on-one with Ollie Watkins.

“As much as I love Joel, I think we know that Ollie Watkins might be a bit quicker than Joel! He did really, really well.”

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 27, 2023: Liverpool's Joe Gomez (L) is challenged by Newcastle United's Callum Wilson during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On Gomez, Klopp added: “Joey, I’m really pleased for him. I’m really pleased.

“Against Newcastle it was, by the way, that [way] already to be honest when he came on.”

Beyond Van Dijk, Konate, Matip and Gomez, Liverpool also have academy defender Jarell Quansah coming through, the 20-year-old featuring against both Newcastle and Villa.

Despite calls to bring in a new centre-back before the transfer deadline, Klopp appears confident in his current crop.

Nat Phillips joined Celtic on a four-month loan last week, while Sepp van den Berg (Mainz), Rhys Williams (Aberdeen) and Billy Koumetio (US Dunkerque) were also allowed to head out.