‘On a different planet’ – Ibou Konate laughs off comparisons between his international teammate and Virgil van Dijk

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Ibou Konate has laughed off suggestions that his international teammate Dayot Upamecano is as good as Virgil Van Dijk.

The latter has become recognised as one of the best central defenders in the world since his £75m move to the Reds back in 2018 but has received his fair share of critics this term with Jurgen Klopp’s side struggling for consistency.

Upamecano, meanwhile, joined Bayern Munich from RB Leipzig (where he played alongside our No. 5) in 2021 and although the Frenchman is a quality player in his own right, Konate was keen to stress that he cannot yet be compared to the Dutchman.

“What kind of question is that? You can’t compare the two,” the 23-year-old told Eurosport.

“With Upamecano, we are in the same category even if he is a very high competitor.

“But Van Dijk, I put him on a different planet.

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“We’re still a long way from achieving what he did. Although we will get there one day, I have no doubt.”

Konate added: “He has an aura on the pitch, you always feel it.

“It’s an exceptional chance to play with him. But I also have to look at my career and not look at him as a fan all the time.”

We understand that he may not have been at his absolute best this season, but we’re very lucky to have van Dijk at the heart of our defence.

The towering presence he brings to our backline coupled with his leadership qualities still sets him apart from most other top class defenders.

Konate is already showing that he’s a top quality defender himself and he’s only going to improve when training and playing alongside the 31-year-old.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Jurgen Klopp looks to add reinforcements to the heart of his defence in the summer with Joel Matip and Joe Gomez struggling for form this term and injuries meaning we’ve struggled to find a settled partnership.

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1 Comment

  1. Upamecano makes a lot of mistakes. Konate is far superior. We were linked with Upamecano before Konate but thankfully, Bayern, like they did with Mane, didn’t look close enough.

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