Liverpool new man Ibrahima Konate has revealed his delight and getting his first taste of action at Anfield.
The centre-back, who sealed a £36m move from RB Leipzig early in the window, lined up alongside Joe Gomez for Monday’s 3-1 win over Osasuna and caught the eye of many fans with his fantastic long-range passing.
Konate’s performance was warmly received by the 40,000 fans inside Anfield, and the Frenchman could hardly hide his excitement towards his first taste of the atmosphere on Merseyside.
“To be honest, I don’t have the words to explain my feelings when I put my first foot on the pitch,” he told the club’s official website. “It’s amazing and I’m very happy to have my first game at Anfield with fans.
“Today was amazing. I cannot imagine the stadium in the Premier League or Champions League.
“It was the last friendly game, the last game of the pre-season – now the Premier League will start [on] Saturday and I am very excited for this moment.”
Gomez later admitted he had been impressed with his centre-back partner, adding: “Ibou’s top. He’s a great player and has adapted straight away to our style of play. Obviously it can be high-intensity sometimes but he’s got all the attributes to thrive I think.”
This game came a little over 24 hours after Liverpool‘s previous friendly, a 1-1 draw with Athletic Club in which Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk enjoyed the lion’s share of the minutes, and Gomez confessed he is excited by the high level of competition in Jurgen Klopp’s defence.
“That’s part and parcel of being at a top club, I think,” he continued. “That’s what this club deserves and that’s what we all thrive off: competition is good and it’s healthy. But we can all learn off one another, I think each of us is different and we’ve got top quality.
“Obviously the likes of Rhys and Nat and Ben and so on, all top players, and it’ll be good this season. Now it’s just to learn from each other and keep pushing each other, day in and day out.”