Liverpool look set to sign Ibrahima Konate from German outfit RB Leipzig, despite the defender’s rocky injury record.
The last two seasons have been stop-start for the Frenchman, turning out just 21 times in the Bundesliga in that time.
The revelation might give Reds fans some cause for concern, having three centre-backs out injured, two of which could be considered injury prone.
However, it might not all be as bad as it seems.
One injury is responsible for 36 of Konate’s absences from the Leipzig team, a torn muscle fibre suffered in October 2019.
After two false starts, with recurrences in May and July 2020, the 22-year-old has shaken the problem.
The only other significant injury is an ankle problem, which kept him out between December and February.
Despite returning for the latter stages of the season, Konate rarely found his way into the team past Willi Orban, Lukas Klostermann and Bayern Munich signing Dayot Upamecano.
At one stage, RB Leipzig were considered challengers for the title, but a run of just two wins in their last eight Bundesliga games, and a German Cup final loss, saw the club’s season peter out.
Like many overperforming German clubs, the Red Bulls are preparing for another season of moving on their best players, having seen Timo Werner and Naby Keita leave in recent seasons.
Konate looks likely to follow Keita to Anfield, with Liverpool having triggered his £36m release clause, bolstering Jurgen Klopp’s defensive options.
With Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all expected to be fit for the start of the 2021/22 season, the Frenchman will have to compete for a place in the Reds team.
It also raises questions about the futures of young centre-halves Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, who have deputised for large parts of the season.
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