amie Carragher now admits that Jurgen Klopp ‘pinning his faith’ in Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate to solve Liverpool’s ‘problems’ over the 2023/24 season is a ‘worry’.
The Reds start the new Premier League term at Chelsea this Sunday desperate to embark on a largely improved campaign. Klopp only took Liverpool to a fifth-place finish in 2022/23 and ended the season four points outside the top four. They also won just 19 of their 38 fixtures.
Ten draws and nine defeats further stained Liverpool’s record in 22/23. The Anfield club also conceded 47 goals to the 75 they struck to set the seventh-best defensive record. Brentford boasted the sixth-best defensive record, having let in 46 goals, en route to finishing in ninth.
Klopp concerns Carragher with his trust in Van Dijk and Konate
Klopp started Van Dijk in all 32 of his Premier League appearances last season as Liverpool’s most trusted centre-back. Konate started the Reds’ second-most games at centre-half with 17 from his 18, ahead of Joe Gomez (15 of 21), Joel Matip (12 of 14) and Nat Philips (1 of 2).
Yet for all of Klopp’s trust, Van Dijk produced a frustrating campaign before a slight upturn at the end. The Dutchman fell well short of his established standards with an array of uncertain performances. While Konate showed a lot of potential but also suffered an array of injuries.
Konate’s power and pose beside Van Dijk, when at his best, can offer Liverpool a fearsome defence. But Klopp now concerns Carragher with his trust in the pair to produce at Anfield throughout the 23/24 season. The Reds hero believes Klopp needed to better his backline.
“It is a worry that the problems which were apparent last year when Liverpool gifted so many opportunities to their opponents have not been fixed,” Carragher wrote for The Telegraph.
Klopp had to manage Konate’s minutes at Liverpool last season
“In the absence of an available or affordable new back-up centre-back, Klopp is pinning his faith on Van Dijk to rediscover his best form after a poor 12 months, and Ibrahima Konate to be available more often.”
Klopp had to manage Konate’s minutes at Liverpool last season following his injury-plagued start to the term. The Frenchman only appeared in two Premier League matches before the World Cup break. He then suffered yet another injury problem early into the New Year, too.
Konate missed the start of the 22/23 season whilst he recovered from a knee injury picked up in a friendly against RC Strasbourg Alsace. It kept him out until October before missing a further flurry of fixtures with a muscle problem. While a hamstring injury added to his pain.