Ibrahima Konate has detailed the major difference in playing in Germany to the English Premier League and opened up on the challenge of getting himself regular game time for Liverpool.
The defender was an early summer window arrival – in fact he was Jurgen Klopp’s only arrival in pre-season. Klopp paid £35m to RB Leipzig for the centre-back after deciding Ozan Kabak was not the right fit for the Reds. And the 22-year-old has admitted it is “not easy” to break into Klopp’s first XI.
Konate has started three Premier League games so far this season. His league debut came against Crystal Palace, while he has started two of the last three league games against Man Utd and Brighton.
The Paris-born defender also started the League Cup win at Norwich and says he has found it hard after being an ever present at Leipzig.
“For sure it is not easy because every player wants to play, you know?” Konate told Liverpool FC’s official magazine.
“But I know I am young and I need to work to play.
“I was in Germany and now I am in the Premier League in Liverpool, one of the best teams in the world.
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“It is not easy to come and play automatically at Liverpool. I know Jurgen and I know what he does and of course I need to work.
“I hope with time this [being selected] will be automatic and I will work for this.”
Konate will be hoping to form an unbreakable centre-back partnership with Virgil van Dijk. And while the pair kept a clean sheet in the 5-0 mauling over Man Utd, they did conceded twice at home in the draw with Brighton.
While Liverpool have conceded just twice while Konate has been on the pitch, the former France Under-21 defender has admitted the game is different in England.
Konate gunning for glory
“Everything is good. I love the challenge and, for sure, the Premier League is not the same as German football,” added Konate.
“The intensity is different and you have a lot of big players here. It is not easy, but we play football for that.”
The defender, who has his sights on a full France cap, is also hoping the Reds can push on and win some silverware in his debut season.
“Of course, who doesn’t have this ambition to win the Premier League?” he said.
“But for now I think we need to be focused game by game.
“We have Premier League, we have Champions League – we have lots of games, but with this team I think we can do a big thing this season.
“Winning both is not easy. But if we can, then why not?”