Arsenal scout talented centre-back who could solve Emery problems

Date published: Monday 4th February 2019 3:14 - Matthew Briggs

Ibrahima Konate TEAMtalk

Arsenal scouts have been in attendance at RB Leipzig’s games on numerous occasions this season with Ibrahima Konate the subject of their reported interest.

The Gunners are just one of thee Premier League teams interested in 19-year-old centre-back Konate – Chelsea and West Ham are the others, according to SportBild.

Konate has formed a formidable partnership at the back with Dayot Upamecano with Leipzig currently in fourth place in the Bundesliga and chasing a place in next season’s Champions League.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery was heavily criticised for not adding a defender to his squad last month, while signing Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez – a decision Charlie Nicholas labelled “a joke”.

And the club were beaten 3-1 by Man City on Sunday with the Gunners defence pulled all over the place by Sergio Aguero and co.

Emery though has instructed his scouts to keep tabs on Konate, who is highly regarded in Germany. So much so that Leipzig recently extended the contract of the Frenchman by a further year until 2023.

“Ibrahima Konate has developed brilliantly here so far and his qualities have led to him becoming an integral member of our defence,” said head coach Ralf Rangnick last month.

Konate moved to the Bundesliga from French side Sochaux in the summer of 2017 after making just 12 first-team appearances at the age of 18.

“We’ve been watching Ibrahima Konate for some time,”Ragnick said at the time. “He’s a young, highly-gifted player who’ll strengthen our defence. We’re very happy to have been able to bring in this top talent and that Ibrahima can take the next step in his career here.

“He shows great qualities despite being only 18, and we’re convinced he’ll bring us a lot of joy.”

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