Konate recalls childhood moment that completely changed the course of his footballing career

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Ibrahima Konate recalled an important discussion with Sochaux’s Academy director, Eric Hely, who convinced him into adopting a position in the backline over going further up the pitch.

It was a move that evidently paid dividends for the 22-year-old who later earnt a big switch to the German top-flight before later joining Liverpool.

“He told me, ‘Yes, you can be a good midfielder, because you have quality, you are strong, you have power,’” the Frenchman told liverpoolfc.com.

“‘But you are very fast and when you play in midfield the pitch is only behind you.

“And if you are a defender and have the pitch in front, this will be very easy for you. And I think as a defender you can be a great, great defender, and a good midfielder’.”

The centre-half has mostly impressed when called upon by Jurgen Klopp, with fans lauding him for his contributions against AC Milan and Manchester United in particular in two commanding displays against veteran, world-class attackers.

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Konate has been unfortunate to not be a more regular starter in the first-XI, with the performances of a revitalised Joel Matip keeping him out for the time being.

It’s not a dreadful situation for Jurgen Klopp of course, with competition likely only enhancing performance on the pitch, not to mention the former Bundesliga defender’s development as he seeks to uproot his fellow Liverpool man.

At 22-years-old, however, the centre-back need not worry over his future on the basis of his outings so far in the famous red shirt.

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