Liverpool’s Unsung Hero: Ibou Konate’s Brilliance

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Ibou Konate: The Unsung Hero of Liverpool’s Defence

How can you not love Ibou? In the realm of football, where the spotlight often shines on the most flamboyant players and the biggest names, it’s easy to overlook the silent warriors who form the backbone of any successful team. Liverpool’s defensive prowess this season has been significantly attributed to Virgil van Dijk’s commanding presence. Yet, amidst the applause for van Dijk, the contribution of Ibou demands recognition and shouldn’t be ignored.

Konate’s Stellar Season by the Numbers

The statistics of the 23/24 season paint a clear picture of Konate’s impact on the field. With 19 appearances in the Premier League, 5 in the EFL Cup, 4 in the Europa League, and 3 in the FA Cup, Konate’s versatility and reliability are evident. His involvement has been crucial in maintaining Liverpool’s defensive solidity, contributing to a total of 31 matches played across all competitions. It seems crazy to think that at one stage he played so much in Europe as an alternate for Joel Matip and many reds were debating if he was in our first choice eleven.

Photo: IMAGO

Kelleher, Van Dijk and Konate: A Distinct Group

While van Dijk has rightfully earned his plaudits, it’s essential to spotlight Konate’s role in Liverpool’s impenetrable defence. The synergy between Kelleher Konate and van Dijk has been instrumental in Liverpool’s recent success, with the team achieving an impressive record of winning all seven matches they’ve played together this season. Their collaboration has led to a formidable defensive record, conceding a goal only every 142 minutes. Yes the spotlight has fallen on the other two recently, but Konate has been crucial in all of those games.

Konate’s Premier League Rankings

Diving deeper into Konate’s performance metrics among Premier League centre-backs, his proficiency is undeniable. He ranks second in progressive passes per 90 minutes, third in progressive pass accuracy, and fourth in both passes to the final third per 90 and in forward passes per 90. His defensive skills are equally commendable, ranking fifth in possession-adjusted tackles. Among the top 7 league centre-backs, Konate’s stats are impressive, placing him in the 93rd percentile for forward pass accuracy, 92nd for aerial win rate, and 85th for progressive carries.

Best Number Two

Ibou Konate’s contributions to Liverpool this season extend far beyond the basic statistics. His role in the team’s defensive structure, his synergy with van Dijk, and his individual performances in critical moments have been indispensable. As Liverpool continues to navigate the challenges of the season, Konate’s presence will undoubtedly be pivotal in their quest for success. While van Dijk garners the headlines, it’s imperative to acknowledge and celebrate the quiet efficiency of Ibou Konate, the second-best centre-back in the league this season. Why all the Saliba talk I’ll never know.

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