‘When Naby Keita came in…’ – John Barnes fires Konate warning after Frenchman signs for Liverpool
John Barnes has said that the signing of Ibrahima Konate will not mean the end of Joe Gomez’s Liverpool career.
The Reds secured the transfer of the Frenchman today, pending a work permit, for £35m, with the switch set to take place at the beginning of July.
“I don’t believe this signing will spell the end for Joe Gomez. Joe is one of the main centre-backs at Liverpool at this moment in time,” the Englishman told BettingOdds.com (via the Echo).
“Just because Konate is coming in, that doesn’t mean he’s going to play well and take Joe’s place in the team.
“When Naby Keita came in, people expected him to take Jordan Henderson or whoever’s place in that midfield. But that hasn’t worked out, so you can’t look at the Konate situation and assume that spells the end for Joe.
“If Konate comes in and doesn’t fit, then he won’t play. Joe is an England international and he’s in a different position to say Nat Phillips because he can play all the time anyway and he’ll push Konate for that position.”
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Given how highly-rated the 22-year-old comes, with some claiming that the defender could have a higher talent ceiling than his former RB Leipzig partner Dayot Upamecano, it can be easy to forget that the club already has a world-class pairing in Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk.
Dependent on how the aforementioned duo’s recovery goes, it is of course possible that the centre-half could gain some valuable minutes at the start of the next season, which could allow him to cement a place in the starting XI.
This is all dependent on the circumstances, however, with nothing being guaranteed in the long run; as Barnes has rightly pointed out, there’s certainly no guarantee that the signing will work out, with Naby Keita a frustrating example of how a hyped-up signing can go wrong.
Negativity aside, however, we at the EOTK are very much excited to see our first summer transfer in action.
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