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“We have him back”- Jurgen Klopp hints that defensive star could return to action against Napoli

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Liverpool gaffer Jurgen Klopp hints at Ibrahima Konate return against Napoli

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that star defender Ibrahima Konate is in line to feature in tonight’s (01/11/2022) UEFA Champions League clash against Napoli.

Luciano Spalleti’s Napoli visit Merseyside to face Liverpool in their final group stage game of the UEFA Champions League this season. The Reds have not been in the best of forms and a number of changes to the lineup that lost to Leeds United on the weekend could ensure.

The defensive vulnerability was again out in the open in their match against Jesse Marsch’s side on 29th October. Individual errors were once again on display and it was Joe Gomez who had a horrible performance against the Peacocks.

The Reds conceded the first goal after Gomez’s attempted pass back to the keeper which went miles off-target and gave Rodrigo a point-blank attempt at an open goal. Even a seven-year-old kid would bury that chance, let alone a Premier League striker. At times, Gomez also looked shaky in defence to add to the misery.

Liverpool gaffer Jurgen Klopp hints at Ibrahima Konate return against Napoli.
Joe Gomez did not have his best game against Leeds United. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The 25-year-old could do with a spell on the sidelines and Liverpool have Ibrahima Konate available to provide cover as well. The Frenchman was out with injury and with Klopp’s latest words via the Liverpool Echo, it seems that Konate can come back into the lineup.

“It is very good that we have him back,”

“He was ready for the squad now and maybe this is the moment when he can play. He trained yesterday as normal, which is very helpful. He’s now had a full week or even eight or nine days, which is very good. He is an option for sure.”

Konate for Gomez?

The 23-year-old Frenchman has, all in all, appeared only twice across all competitions this season and would be urged to make an impactful return from injury. With Joel Matip also absent for the time being, Konate could start against the Naples outfit.

However, with Tottenham up next, Klopp would want to rotate the squad as well given that the Reds have already qualified for the next stage of the UEFA Champions League. Nathaniel Phillips is also an option for the Reds.

Liverpool gaffer Jurgen Klopp hints at Ibrahima Konate return against Napoli.
Joe Gomez could make way for Ibrahima Konate against Napoli.

Konate’s last significant impact-creating performance was in last season’s UCL final against Real Madrid. With the player making only a couple of appearances against Arsenal and Rangers, the upcoming games could be a good opportunity for him to cement his place in the XI alongside Virgil van Dijk, who himself has not been in top form.

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The season is at a very crucial stage and it is of utmost importance for each and every person affiliated with the club to give in their 100% to see that Liverpool finishes their season well, and hopefully secure a UCL spot.