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2023/24 Season Report Card - Ibrahima Konate

Let me start by saying that I think Konate is brilliant and for a brief spell during this season he may have been the most dominant centre back in the league not named Virgil Van Dijk. Arsenal’s pair were getting all of the hype but there’s a reason France select Konate over Saliba; he’s a better player.


Over the course of the entire season though he didn’t show it and I can’t argue with any Arsenal fan claiming that Saliba should be given the nod at the Euros this summer. It’s all well and good being better, but you need to show it. Konate hasn’t.

He began the season behind Joel Matip and ended it behind Jarrell Quansah. He shouldn’t be finding himself in that situation but he can have no complaints. Trent being inverted left him with more space to cover but that’s not an excuse as that’s the thing he does best. He’s capable of completely shutting that side of the field down.


We saw it against Arsenal when he made Martinelli look like a little kid. He completely dominated that game and that’s the level I expect from him. There is a problem with his fitness as Klopp was never really able to select him for two games in a week, meaning he was rotated with Matip and Quansah. 

I would have said he was having a really good season up until two or three months ago when he picked up an injury. It wasn’t a bad injury and it didn’t keep him out for long, but if I remember rightly he went away with France before he’d made his come back with us, and ever since he came back he wasn’t good at all. In the derby loss at Goodison he was embarrassingly poor and was bullied by Calvert-Lewin.


That was the last game he played as Quansah came in and started the final four games of the season and he was in there on merit. It had been brewing though. Go back to the end of March and Konate was left on the bench for the weekend game with Brighton and then started the midweek game against Sheffield United. Why does that matter? Because the following weekend was the trip to Old Trafford, and those selections tell us that Klopp already knew a week in advance that he was going to trust Quansah against United. Konate returned against Atalanta and was given the runaround by West Ham reject Ricardo Scamacca. For whatever reason, he fell off a cliff in the last two or three months.

While Konate is not bad in possession by any means, he isn’t quite as accomplished as the other centre backs and it was noticeable that opponents were just letting him have the ball knowing that he couldn’t really hurt them. If Matip or Quansah are ignored like that, they are capable of making something happen, either with a dribble or an incisive pass between the lines.


Konate should be looking to add that this game and re-focus for next season because he’s much better than he has shown so far in 2024. I had thought this would be the season when he really kicked on to become one of the world’s best, but instead he took a step backwards. 



Previous Season Ratings:


2022/23:  7/10

2021/22:  9/10


This Season’s Rating: 7/10


There was a point in the season when he'd have been flirting with a 9, but the way he ended it was massively disappointing.


Best Moment: 


Monstering Martinelli at Anfield.


Worst Moment:


Being monstered by Calvert-Lewin at Goodison.


The Future?


Exactly what I said in last season's review; needs to stay fit and everything else will take care of itself as he's potentially world class.

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7/10. When he's good he is very very good. Quick, powerful in the air, dominant. He just picks up far too many injuries, can become sloppy at times, and we can't play him 2 games a week.

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Thinking about it, I don't mind the not being able to play twice a week thing as I think that will massively help Quansah's development. It's the actual injuries that are the problem. I'm fine with him and Quansah rotating game to game, just as long as they're both available.

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