Birthday Boys- Ibrahima Konate and Jose Gaya


Today’s edition of Birthday Boys sees us have a look at the career’s of two defenders: RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate and Valencia’s Jose Gaya.

Ibrahima Konate

Credit: Daily Mail

The French defender turns 21 today and is on most wishlists of the European giants. How has Konate got on and shown promise in his talents?

Konate started his career at FC Sochaux and was promoted into the B team in the summer of 2016.

In January 2017, the player was promoted into the senior team and was given valuable game time that a defender at the age of 17 needs first-team experience.

In the summer of 2017, RB Leipzig signed the defender on a free transfer as he got released from Sochaux after 13 games at the club last season.

He gained a good amount of game time in the 17/18 season, featuring 20 times for Leipzig in all competitions being a key component to the German club’s back-line.

The centre-back played 43 games for Leipzig the following season showing why he was one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga that season. On top of the valuable game experience, he was able to score three goals and provide one assist.

The 19/20 season hasn’t gone the way Konate would have wanted. Eight games in all competitions but, that is only due to the centre-back getting injured so early on in the season tearing a muscle and has been recovering all year from it.

He’s featured at every single level for France apart from the senior level with the likes of Raphael Varane and Clement Lenglet keeping the 21-year-old away from getting his first cap for the national team. Currently, he’s playing for the France U21’s team making his debut in March 2019 and having made nine appearances for Les Bleus U21 team.

Jose Gaya

Credit: ESPN

Valencia’s full back turns 25 today and has beena loyal servant to the club, but how has his career panned out so far.

Gaya’s Valencia adventure started in July 2012 as the young promising full-back was moved up into the Spanish clubs B team.

His first season for Valencia’s B team would see the full-back play 36 times and score two goals in the process. That season he would feature for Valencia’s senior team once in the Copa del Rey.

His second season for the B team saw him used less still earning valuable game time. 28 appearances and two goals was Gaya’s return. He played four games for the senior team that season with three coming in the Europa League and a full debut in La Liga.

In July 2014, he was promoted into the senior team and given his professional contract for his boyhood club. That season would see the left-back start 37 games for Valencia scoring twice and assisting six.

The next season would see him feature in 36 games but, he was injured for most of the season but he still managed to score one goal and get three assists.

In the 16/17 season, the full-back would carry an injury and would only play 30 times for Valencia scoring one goal and getting three assists.

He would return to full match fitness for the 17/18 season and has continued to play at the top level since his injury woes stopped him doing so.

In the last three seasons has made 115 appearances for Valencia in all competitions with the defender featuring the most last season making nearly 50 appearances in all competitions.

He has featured in every single level for the Spanish national team making his senior debut in September 2018 and has gone onto make seven appearances for the national team.

He has only won one major trophy with Valencia which was last season’s Spanish Cup final beating Barcelona 2-1 in the final.


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EFL/EPL and F1 writer. @AdrianKitaMedia on Twitter for any comments regarding my pieces on Prost International.

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