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Konate vs Gomez: Liverpool legend picks partner for Van Dijk

Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez - Liverpool
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Intense competition for a place at the heart of the Reds defense can be expected in the coming season.

Ibrahima Konate’s sizable price tag gives him precedence over the other options to partner Virgil van Dijk in the Liverpool backline, maintains John Barnes.

Both Van Dijk and Gomez spent the majority of 2020/21 on the treatment table while Joel Matip also missed a significant portion of the season due to a variety of injuries.

While Van Dijk is expected to come back straight into the starting XI in 2021/21, the same cannot be said about the other two players, especially after the addition of a new centre-backs in Jurgen Klopp’s team – the highly-rated 22-year-old Konate, who cost the Reds around €40 million.

“It will be interesting to see who starts in central defence for Liverpool alongside Virgil van Dijk next season,” Barnes told Goal, speaking in association with BonusCodeBets.

“In the long term Joe Gomez will be fine, but he’s young and he’s had his injury problems.

“Having splashed out so much money on a centre-back in Ibrahima Konate, they’ll probably start with him alongside Van Dijk – presuming Van Dijk is fit for the start of the season – but it’s always good to have competition for places.”