‘I just think’ – Ex-Red claims 22-year-old Liverpool star needs to improve defensively in order to earn regular starting spot alongside Virgil van Dijk

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Mark Lawrenson has claimed that Ibrahima Konate needs to improve defensively after claiming the Frenchman ‘disappears’ from his position at times.

The No. 5 started alongside Virgil van Dijk in yesterday’s FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest and helped the Reds to yet another clean sheet.

“Konate is learning, we know he’s going to be good, great physique, quick enough,” Lawrenson told Off The Ball (via Rousing The Kop).

“I just think defensively if you watch yesterday and if you watched West Ham as well, he disappears at times from his position and as good as Van Dijk is, he can’t put his finger in the dike every time something happens.”

Konate has made 19 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side this term since his £35m summer witch from RB Leipzig and appears to be very much a player for the future.

At just 22-years-old, the towering centre-half certainly has time on his side to continuing developing, especially when he is training and playing alongside the world’s best defender in van Dijk.

We certainly believe that Lawrenson’s comments are rather harsh.

To make the move from the Bundesliga to the Premier League at such a young age is a huge switch for the Paris-born defender and it will certainly take time until he’s performing at his best.

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Joel Matip has been the preferred option alongside our No. 4 for most of this season, but France under-21 international Konate has displayed his potential on numerous occasions when he has been called upon this season.

Konate has, however, started games, and impressed, at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and the San Siro this term, and has played every minute of our FA Cup run.

Following our victory at the City Ground yesterday, we’ll now face Manchester City at Wembley in the semi-final next month for what looks set to be a mouthwatering clash.

Let’s hope Konate can continue to impress when he’s called upon to ensure his first season on Merseyside is as successful as possible.

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