Why Thomas Tuchel wants 21-year-old RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate despite his injury record

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is reportedly interested in signing 21-year-old RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate.

Liverpool and Manchester United are also interested in the French defender who has been labelled as a potential world class player by former coaches.

According to Daily Mail, here is why Konate is in high demand:

“There’s a clever football brain in the 21-year-old and his ability to stifle attacks with interceptions is a trait most managers would love.

“With his game largely based around this, it won’t be too alarming to see his tackle rate slightly low but this would be expected – you don’t need to put in a tackle if you have already won the ball.

“At 6’4” he is effective in the air, again where he can intercept the ball. In addition to this, he appears to be alert to the prospect of winning a resulting loose ball.

“Over the 2018-19 campaign, he was statistically the better defender to Upamecano, leading him in shots blocked, duels won and interceptions.

“Being comfortable in possession too allows him to help start counter attacks – whether it is finding a free pass in midfield or driving forward in possession.

“While these skills are not on par with Andrea Pirlo’s style of passing or Lionel Messi-esque dribbling, it is a very strong level for a centre back and an asset to Leipzig.”

Despite his talent, the 21-year-old has struggled with injuries recently which is a huge concern.

Last season, he featured just eight times for Leipzig after tearing a muscle in October. He also missed the first three games of the current season with a hip issue and hasn’t played since the middle of December, having only just recovered from an ankle injury.

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