Ibrahima Konate reflects on ‘unforgettable’ Liverpool debut

New Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate described it as an ‘unforgettable moment’ to make his first appearance for the Reds following his £36m transfer from RB Leipzig, playing in a 30-minute mini-friendly against Stuttgart that ended 1-1.

Konate was chosen by Jurgen Klopp to play in the second of the back-to-back mini-games, with the first against Wacker Innsbruck also ending 1-1.

“It’s an unforgettable moment for me,” the centre-back told LiverpoolFC.com.

“Yes, without our fans – but I am very, very happy. Just a little bit sad – very sad – because we didn’t win. But it’s OK, I’m happy.”

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Discussing how he personally got on, Konate added, “I was very happy with the team on the pitch; good communication with everybody. Step by step we will be better, this is the first time in pre-season. We are waiting for the next game.”

Despite not winning either game, Klopp was pleased for his squad to get some game time.

“Physically it was all that we wanted to see, we had to do it and it was an important test for that,” the Liverpool also told the club’s official website.

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“From a football point of view, obviously a lot of space for improvement; I saw a lot of wild pressing. We wanted a wild press, we had a little competition between the two teams to see who wins the ball back more and how many counter-presses we have.

“I’m really happy about it, it’s all good. I saw what I expected to see, actually – it would be strange if I was standing here and saying, ‘My god, I didn’t know we can play this kind of football’, but I am fine with it and now we keep working.”

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Liverpool’s next pre-season test is a full length match against Mainz on Friday, although Klopp has already said it would be a ‘surprise’ if Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez are ready to make their returns from long-term injury, despite resuming full training.

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