French boss hits back at Liverpool manager following his recent Ibrahim Konate claim

The French national team manager gave his thoughts on the Liverpool defender after his latest injury setback.
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France manager Didier Deschamps has hit back at Jurgen Klopp's comments about his treatment of Ibrahim Konate at international level.

Konate, 24, has 12 caps for his country and has emerged as a key starter in the heart of defence since making his debut in 2022. After starting in three of their World Cup games, he has been a fixture in the side in all but two games since the Qatar tournament, and he has been called up to the latest squad despite missing Liverpool's last game.

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He's currently played 11 times under Klopp this season, but he's started just five times in the league due to muscle injuries. Last season saw him suffer two separate injuries (muscle and knee) that kept him out for a combined three months.

Klopp had previously spoke out on Deschamps' treatment of Konate for France, as he played full games for his country during the October international break, despite having just returned to fitness for Liverpool.

“I love absolutely everything about Ibou, but the problem is Ibou had injury problems from time to time and Mr. Deschamps played him 90 and 87 minutes in the two games (for France).” 

Those games saw France face off against both the Netherlands and Scotland - two tough games in their group - but Deschamps has since hit back over the claims that he is not managing the health and welfare of Konate.

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“It must have happened before, and it will happen again at other moments because the situation and interests vary between club managers and national team managers,” Deschamps said as quoted by the Echo.

“I try and manage them like any manager. When they (club managers) have weeks with three games, they can manage them a bit more.

“Us, we have a gathering, two games.”

Konate wasn't involved during the 3-0 win over Brentford but he was called up to the squad alongside four other central defenders which is likely to have angered the Liverpool manager further.

Next up is two games against Gibraltar and Greece for France and considering they have perhaps the best centre-back depth in international football, Konate shouldn't be required.

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The likes of Jules Koundé (Barcelona), William Saliba (Arsenal), Jean-Clair Todibo (Nice), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich) Axel Diasi (Chelsea) and Wesley Fofana (Chelsea) to name a few, are all fine defenders and there are plenty more ready and waiting to represent their country, but Konate is certainly at the top of the elite list of defenders for his country.

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