Ibrahima Konate has revealed that he aims to be as good as his Liverpool centre-back partner Virgil van Dijk one day.

Konate arrived at Anfield from RB Leipzig last summer and enjoyed a solid first season in a red shirt, although he did not play as frequently as he might have hoped thanks to the fine form of Joel Matip.

Overall, the Frenchman racked up 29 appearances in all competitions and scored three goals – all in successive games during the month of April.

He also rapidly developed a strong understanding with Van Dijk, a player that Konate rates as the best in the world in his position.

“For sure I improved a lot with him. I improved with him because I learn about him, I look how he plays,“ he told Liverpool’s official website.

“But not only him, I learn with also Matip and Joe [Gomez] because we play in the same position. Everybody knows Virg is the best defender in the world and I look a lot at how he plays, how he thinks, before the game he knows a lot of players.

“I take inspiration from him and a lot of players in the world, but with him I have the chance to play with him and to train with him. I think it’s just the start and I hope year after year I will learn, learn, learn again.

“I hope one day I will be like him or better one day. I hope!”

Konate was speaking after Liverpool recorded a 2-0 pre-season victory over Crystal Palace in Singapore. The Reds’ preparations continue on Thursday when they travel to Germany to take on RB Leipzig, before they face sister team RB Salzburg a few days later in Austria.

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