KEY POINTS

  • Liverpool has agreed to sign center-back Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig
  • Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is excited to have Konate add "quality" to his team
  • The Frenchman has been likened to two of the best defenders in the world today

Liverpool’s newest signing is already being likened to some of the best defenders in the sport.

After being on the Reds’ radar for quite some time, RB Leipzig star Ibrahima Konate is finally making his move to Anfield after both teams agreed to a deal to sign the 22-year-old on July 1. The long-term deal is worth £35 million ($49.7 million), BBC reported.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is thrilled to have added Konate to his squad, calling him “a player who will add quality” to the team.

“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to add a player of Ibrahima’s quality to our squad and he is someone I’ve admired for a long time, ever since I first became aware of his potential when he was at Sochaux,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.

“After the problems we had with injuries in the center-half position last season, there’s no doubt it was clear it was an area of the team we needed to strengthen,” he added. “In Ibrahima we are signing a player who will add to the quality we already have here. His physical attributes are very impressive; he is quick, he is very strong and he is dominant in the air.”

At 22 years old, Konate has already been featured in 20 matches for RB Leipzig in the 2020-21 season and was able to score one goal in the process. For Klopp, he is “confident” about catapulting Konate to English top-flight football, but he is also aware that the Frenchman is still “a boy.”

“I am confident we are signing a player who can play for us right away, but he is a boy of 22 years of age who has room to improve because of his massive potential,” the German stressed. “I know that’s something he is eager to work on with us to become an even better player.”

“For me, that’s really exciting because I have seen how good he is already and I’m looking forward to working with him when he joins up with us in pre-season,” he continued.

RB Leipzig insider and Klopp’s former teammate Guido Schafer, on the other hand, already sees a world-class defender in Konate.

According to Schafer, the youngster is already playing like his compatriot Dayot Upamecano and Liverpool star center-back Virgil van Dijk.

"[Konate] is as good as Dayot Upamecano when he is fit. They are absolutely at the same level,” Schafer said on "Under The Radar" podcast. "He is tall, fast, good technique and he is a little bit of Virgil van Dijk.”

Ibrahima Konate Ibrahima Konate #6 of Bundesliga club RB Leipzig. Photo: Getty Images / DeFodi Images