Glen Johnson gives his assessment over the transfers of Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate, wishing that Liverpool had signed the Manchester United-bound star instead.
Liverpool and Manchester United have moved about positively with their player recruitments in this window. The Merseysiders conducted early business when they sighed Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, which certainly addressed their major issue at the back.
The former Leipzig centre-back cost Liverpool around £36 million. Jurgen Klopp will consider it money well spent and be happy with the addition. Last season, the Reds failed to defend their Premier League crown due to major issues at the back, with Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez missing major parts due to season-ending injuries.
However, signing Konate certainly strengthens the squad for the coming season. Liverpool are not alone in adding a top-quality centre-back. Manchester United made their statement signing in Jadon Sancho earlier, but then everyone seems to have noticed Raphael Varane, who joins from Real Madrid.
United’s defence constantly came under criticism last season, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to bring someone solid. He chose Varane, with who the club have been linked for ages. Despite constant links to Old Trafford, the French defender stayed put at Real Madrid to enjoy ten trophy-laden seasons.
However, the French World Champion wanted to try something different this time, and United rekindled their interest. There is an agreement between the clubs, with an official announcement is all that remains. The Premier League giants will pay an initial £34 million, which is £2 million less than the Konate fee.
Fans and pundits alike have heralded it a masterstroke of a signing, which they predict could bring the greatness back to Old Trafford. One former Premier League star wishes Liverpool had signed Varane instead. Glen Johnson was speaking to BettingOdds.com, and the quotes published by Empire of the Kop, where the former Reds and Chelsea right-back expressed his thoughts on the two centre-back signings.
Johnson suggested that maybe Konate might not be as good as Varane. He said, “Yes. Mainly because I haven’t seen Konaté play too much, to be honest, and don’t know too much about him. But if Konaté is as good or better than Varane, I’d be surprised.”
The fact that Varane has tremendous experience at the top level in itself separates him from Konate. Not to say the former RB Leipzig star is bad in any way. He is six years younger than the French World Cup winner and has his whole career in front of him.
Varane, meanwhile, has won everything at the club football level. Only the Euros elude him after winning the World Cup in 2018. However, in terms of the upcoming season, he might have the upper hand to elevate the team quickly, and in that sense, Johnson is logical.
However, both signings are fantastic in their own way. Liverpool do not have to worry about Konate since Van Dijk is close to returning alongside Gomez. As for United, Varane will bring a winning mentality and could form a tremendous, possibly a title-winning partnership with Harry Maguire at Old Trafford.