Ibrahima Konate has once again missed out on a call up for the France national side because manager Didier Deschamps prefers to operate with a three-man defence.
The Frenchman moved to Liverpool from RB Leipzig last summer and has impressed ever since, winning the Carabao Cup and FA Cup so far this season and performing solidly when called upon.
Following the latest squad announcement, the national side’s boss has explained the decision to omit the 22-year-old.
“Yes, I’m following [Konate], he’s in a team which is competing in the Champions League final and for the title in England,” the 53-year-old said (as quoted by Liverpool Echo).
“But since he’s been at Liverpool, he’s mostly played in a four-man defence and there is competition [in the France team].
“I brought William [Saliba] last time and he always plays in a back three. It’s either one or the other, it’s very competitive, and that’s very good. It allows for the veterans to not get too comfortable.”
Our No. 5 has been one of Jurgen Klopp’s top performers in recent months and he’ll be expecting a starting spot in the Champions League final on May 28.
Joel Matip, Klopp’s other central defensive option to partner Virgil van Dijk, has also impressed this season though, so it’s a case of either-or for many Liverpool supporters.
Konate is yet to make his international debut for the senior side but has represented them at every level from U16 upwards.
Deschamps has opted for William Saliba rather than Konate once again – he’s on loan from Arsenal at Marseille and has often been deployed in a three-man defence at the Ligue 1 side for most of the campaign.
Our centre half certainly won’t be happy with the decision, but he can have a well earned rest after hopefully picking up at least one more trophy between now and the end of the season.