There’s a possibility that summer signing Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip could be paired together for Liverpool’s opening league fixture against Daniel Farke’s Norwich City.
This comes from James Pearce of The Athletic, who noted that it wouldn’t be beyond the realm of reality for the centre-halves to start at Carrow Road.
Klopp says Van Dijk and Gomez won't be ready to feature in the next friendly v Hertha next Thursday. Still building up their fitness in training.
"I will not risk it." #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) July 23, 2021
“Their [Van Dijk and Gomez] return is eagerly anticipated but Klopp is in a position where he doesn’t need to take any risks,” the reporter wrote.
“Two major positives from Liverpool’s opening fortnight in Austria have been how sharp Matip has looked on his return to action and how quickly Konate has settled in.
“They complemented each other well during Friday’s goalless opening 45 minutes against Mainz and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them line up together at Carrow Road.
Given Jurgen Klopp admitted post the 1-0 victory over Mainz that he wasn’t prepared to risk either one of his first-choice duo against Hertha Berlin, it certainly leaves the pair with little time to prepare for the full season.
“As the wait goes on for Van Dijk and Gomez, Konate and Matip look like being the double act tasked with helping to get 2021-22 off to a flyer.”
As impressive as both Matip and Konate have been in pre-season, it’s a completely different ball game compared to the season proper.
Nonetheless, it’s difficult to overlook just how comfortable the Frenchman appeared playing a high line, demonstrating remarkable recovery pace on several occasions to keep the scoreline level in Austria.
It’s not a perfect situation for Klopp heading into the 2021/22 campaign, though far from being disastrous given the quality waiting in the wings.