Fresh Ibrahima Konate injury fears as defender is withdrawn from France squad

Ibrahima Konate has been withdrawn from the France squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers due to his injury.

While the Liverpool defender has missed the last two Premier League games with a hamstring issue, it had been assumed that the knock was relatively minor and he was initially included in Didier Deschamps' France squad for the upcoming international break.

However, the 24-year-old has now been withdrawn from Les Bleus' 23-man squad and will now be replaced by Jean-Clair Todibo.

Confirming the news, the France team's Twitter account writes that Konate is "insufficiently recovered" from his hamstring injury and, as a result, is unable to participate in the first team training session due to take place on Monday ahead of the matches against Ireland (Thursday, 7 September) and Germany (Tuesday, 12 September).

The news will come as a worry for many Liverpool fans, with Konate's return to fitness in time to face Wolves later this month now in doubt.

Without Konate, the Reds could have just two fit and available senior backs for the trip to Molineux on 16 September.

Virgil van Dijk is likely to miss the match after he was charged with improper conduct by the FA in addition to his sending off against Newcastle.

Without the club captain, or Konate, the Reds have just Joel Matip and Joe Gomez as centre-back options — though 20-year-old academy product Jarell Quansah has made impressive cameos in Liverpool's last two outings.

In addition, there are also concerns over Trent Alexander-Arnold's availability as he faces a scan on his hamstring, while back-up right back Conor Bradley is out for several weeks with a stress fracture in his back.

Liverpool had been tipped to move for defensive reinforcements during the transfer window, with Piero Hincapie (Leverkusen) and Arthur Theate (Rennes) among those linked, but ultimately no signings arrived. With the club instead focussed on midfield – Ryan Gravenberch was the only Deadline Day arrival – it has been reported that the Reds are prepared to wait for the right profile of defender to augment their squad.

Konate has a patchy fitness record in his two years at Anfield, never making more than 18 Premier League appearances in a season.

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