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‘Took him off early’… Jurgen Klopp admits he was told he had to substitute £35m Liverpool player tonight

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Jurgen Klopp has admitted that the Liverpool medical department influenced his substitutions against LASK this evening.

Klopp utilised all five available changes, with the introduction of Conor Bradley for his first appearance of the season the most notable swap.

One of those to make way early on in the second-half was centre-back Ibrahima Konate. With barely 10 minutes on the clock after the break, Konate was out and Trent Alexander-Arnold was in.

It was a slightly strange – and perhaps concerning – substitution for Liverpool fans, who have seen Konate go down with several injury issues recently.

And speaking to TNT Sports after the game, Klopp admitted that he had been warned against playing the Frenchman for longer on Thursday.

“The medical department decided no 90 minutes,” confirmed the Reds boss. “That’s why I took him off early.”

Klopp clears up Konate substitution

With Konate rested for much of the game tonight, some may have seen it as an indication that he will be starting Sunday’s visit of Fulham.

But given this admission from Klopp, that now doesn’t look likely.

Instead, having sat out of the full 90 minutes tonight, it will surely be Joel Matip who steps up once again.

That isn’t a problem, Matip was absolutely superb against Manchester City on Saturday and can be relied upon totally. For now, it’s possible that Klopp would actually play the Cameroonian over Konate anyway.

Nevertheless, it is frustrating for Ibou, who has had another campaign blighted by injury so far.

Since his £35m move in 2021, the France international has faced a battle to consistently play for Liverpool. Some of that is down to the continued excellence of Matip as well as Virgil van Dijk.

But the other side of that coin is that Konate just can’t seem to stay for long enough.

Tonight’s change was hopefully just a cautionary one to avoid any further issues being picked up. Still, it would be nice if Ibou wasn’t having to be brought off at all.

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