Jurgen Klopp explains Ibrahima Konate substitution amid injury fears ahead of Man Utd clash
Posted by  badge Boss on Dec 15, 2023 - 05:36AM
Konate did not emerge for the second-half on Thursday (Picture: Getty)

has eased injury fears over , insisting it was always his intention to replace the Liverpool defender at half-time in their clash against Union Saint-Gilloise.

but with qualification for the knockout stages of the competition already secured, Klopp was able to make a number of changes on Thursday night.

Mohamed Salah, defenders Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold and goalkeeper Alisson were among those rested as the Reds manager named Liverpool’s youngest starting XI for a European match with an average age of 22 years and 156 days.

Ibrahima Konate was one of the senior players to keep his place, starting alongside Jarell Quansah at the heart of defence.

The France international was withdrawn at half-time however, replaced by Joe Gomez.

, Klopp dismissed any fears over another injury blow ahead of the visit of United this weekend.

‘We just wanted to share the intensity,’ Klopp said in his post-match press conference. ‘Do I want to play Joe Gomez 90 or Ibou 90 if we had the chance to do that? [I decided] 45 and 45, the same in midfield.

Klopp has no fresh injury concerns heading into Sunday (Picture: Getty)

‘These changes were planned before the game, independent of the result. We just tried to give it a go. It was clear that Jarell if he could play through then he would play through. That was the thinking behind it.’

While Liverpool fell to a 2-1 defeat to the Belgian side, young defender Quansah impressed with a superbly taken goal.

‘It was important. I think we all know against Crystal Palace that he played not a bad game against Palace but if you are then that involved in kind of the penalty, a strange one, but we are involved, that’s not cool.

‘And I am really happy that he could see the other side of the metal and score this goal today. That’s what I liked the most from all of the boys – that they really gave it a proper go.

‘And that’s most important that we don’t think: ‘OK, it’s difficult, they are a really good team and do what they do every week.’ We have to find a way to get used to each other.

‘And especially Jarell, with either side Ibou and then Joe in the second half, that was really good. They had to defend big spaces in the counter-attacks and I thought they did that really. So, I am really happy for him.’

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