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Ibrahima Konate responds to Liverpool supporter criticism in William Saliba defence

Ibrahima Konate of Liverpool and William Saliba of Arsenal
-Credit: (Image: Xavier Laine/Getty Images)


Ibrahima Konate has leapt to the defence of France team-mate William Saliba, prompting a Liverpool supporter to stop a social media crusade against the Arsenal centre back.

With the French confirmed through to the semi-finals of this summer's European Championships following Friday's quarter-final penalty shoot-out triumph over Portugal, there has been a distinct lack of Liverpool's centre half in their matches to date. Konate has so far been unable to get off the bench this tournament, whether that be as a starter or making a substitute cameo.

Instead manager Didier Deschamps has elected for a back four of Theo Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano, Jules Kounde and finally Saliba, with the Arsenal man nestling in at left centre back. This has been left unchanged in all five games with four clean sheets out of five the result.

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This is the first time Saliba has been a preferred option at a major tournament - the 23-year-old usually finding himself the back-up option to Konate in Deschamps' plans. Reds supporters, naturally wanting their No.4 to shine brightest on the international stage, have persistently petitioned against the Arsenal defender, though Konate himself has now moved to squash any sort of hostilities.

Replying to an account on X, formerly Twitter, that has posted clips of Saliba's errors across the past few weeks, the 25-year-old pleaded: "My brother stop doing that," followed by a laughing emoji. "Saliba is so good and he’s my brother! He deserves all this! So let's be happy for [him]!"

Konate ended the recent campaign also as an unused substitute in Liverpool's last four matches, and re-clarifying there has been injury problem preventing his involvement, he added: "Thank you for supporting me I wasn't 100% that's all. Now we have to go to the final."

Arsenal supporters fighting their defender's corner on the social platform - some of them slating Konate - also gained a reply from the Reds defender. Following three laughing emojis, he ended: "Arsenal fan you are so funny see you soon In Sha Allah."

The Reds are scheduled to face last season's runners-up in a pre-season friendly on August 1 at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as part of this summer's tour of the United States.