Nat Phillips has praised the qualities of new Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate despite the French centre back adding competition for a starting berth at Anfield. Liverpool signed Konate from RB Leipzig by triggering his release clause of £36 million over the summer transfer window.
Ibrahima Konate was signed following an impressive stint of performances over the four years he spent at Leipzig. The 22-year-only was the only acquisition for the Merseyside club as they sought to add reinforcements to last season's inadequate cover at the back in what was a quiet summer transfer window for them. The former Leipzig player made 95 appearances for the German club while scoring four goals across all competitions.
That combined with the return of Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip could see Nat Phillips drop down to fifth in the pecking order with Konate's arrival, which would see the defender's numbers drop. Philips made 20 appearances for the Reds last campaign as he emerged as cover for the Merseyside club's injury-plagued defence. But Konate's arrival hasn't fazed the Liverpool academy product as he admitted that he's relishing the challenge of climbing up but also praised the new Frenchman at the club.
"He's slotted in perfectly. As a person he gets on with the lads really well, he's not shy but he looks like he really wants to learn and improve. He's motivated and works hard,” said Phillips to the Liverpool Echo
"From what I've seen of him in pre-season, he looks like a top top player and a top defender. Physically he is unbelievable. He's so young and still has plenty of time to improve and I'm sure he will do that at Liverpool,” he added.