Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate has hinted he is making progress in his recovery from a thigh injury while others are on international duty.
Konate played 90 minutes in each of Liverpool’s first two Premier League games of the season before being ruled out of the next two fixtures against Newcastle and Aston Villa.
Joel Matip deputised alongside Virgil van Dijk in his absence, although the latter will still be suspended for the next games after the international break due to his red card against Newcastle – the original one-match ban was increased to two as a result of his protestations at the time.
That puts pressure on Konate to be fully fit to cover the shortfall, with Joe Gomez the only other central defender in the first-team squad. It was indeed Gomez who finished the Newcastle game next to Matip and then started together last time out. Jarell Qansah has also been promoted.
READ THE LATEST LIVERPOOL NEWS, TRANSFER RUMOURS & GOSSIP
Konate has been back home in France during the international break. He first shared via Instagram Stories a video of himself going for a run, which is a positive sign with regard to his fitness, followed by a bicycle ride in Paris right alongside the Eiffel Tower.
It is not yet confirmed if Konate will be available to face Wolves on 16 September when club football resumes. That game is likely, however, to see a Reds debut for deadline day arrival Ryan Gravenberch to boost numbers in midfield following turnover in that area of the pitch.
Gravenberch didn’t sign in time to be available for the Villa game before the international break, but the Dutchman actively chose not to represent his country to give him more time to settle into his new Liverpool surroundings. That decision drew strong criticism from Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman and other members of the national team coaching setup.
LISTEN NOW TO 90MIN’S TALKING TRANSFERS PODCAST
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Graeme Bailey to discuss Al Ittihad’s attempts to sign Mohamed Salah, Jadon Sancho’s Man Utd future, the players that could still leave the Premier League and more!
If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!