Cody Gakpo names the most difficult player to face in Liverpool training

Cody Gakpo has named the most difficult player to train against at Liverpool.

The Reds have been miserly in the Premier League of late. Holding the joint best defensive record in the division, Liverpool have conceded 10 goals in 12 games and only one in the past four.

It’s no surprise to hear then, that when asked by the Premier League on YouTube to name the trickiest player to face at the AXA Training Centre, Gakpo named one of the Reds top centre-backs.

“Ibou Konate,” answered the 24-year-old. “So strong!”

Unfortunately, Konate hasn’t been out on the pitch over the past two games, with a hamstring injury holding him back. Once he’s fit, we’ll no doubt once again see what Cody is talking about.

It’s great to hear that Konate is still taking all comers at Liverpool. If the Frenchman can cope with the Reds’ array of forwards during training, he’ll be fine against most Premier League attacks.

Even more impressive than that though, is that Gakpo sees Virgil van Dijk up close every day.

Van Dijk has arguably been the best defender in the country so far this season. For Konate to eclipse the Dutchman’s level would be quite something.

Indeed, Gakpo’s words are another insight into just how good Ibou could potentially be. That only makes his constant injury struggles all the more frustrating.

There’s no question that Konate is the long-term answer to the right-side of Liverpool’s defence. Put the injuries behind him and he’s got the chance to be one of the world’s best in his position.

But unfortunately, the injuries are still there and they are still happening. Jurgen Klopp can rely on Joel Matip and Joe Gomez for the time being, but you’re always going to miss a player like Konate.

Still only 24, Ibou should not be written off as a sicknote for some time yet. But it would be nice to see him get a full season under his belt from here on in.

The signs so far indicate that Konate could return to training this weekend. With Gakpo away on international duty, he won’t be there to feel the force of the big man’s defending, but no doubt another poor unsuspecting forward or two will!


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