While the possible arrival of Naby Keita would undoubtedly add to the fierce competition for places at Liverpool, former Red Jason McAteer believes his presence could benefit one midfielder in particular.
Keita, rated at £50million, has been identified as one of Jurgen Klopp’s priority summer targets with the German keen on adding the Guinean to bolster the spine of his team.
Comparisons to Chelsea star N’Golo Kante have served as the foundation to excitement surrounding the 22-year-old, although a deal to lure him to the Premier League promises to be far from straight forward with current employers RB Leipzig adamant he is not for sale.
“I watch a lot of the Bundesliga and Keita is a terrific player. He’s in the mould of N’Golo Kante and Claude Makelele – he’s full of energy, always breaking play up and getting his team on the front foot,” McAteer told the Mirror.
“If Klopp manages to get him out of Leipzig it would be fantastic and allow Can to play a more forward role which would suit him better.”
“If Jurgen Klopp can nail down his three major transfer targets then, with the attacking options he’s got in the squad, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be pushing to win the title.”
Introducing a player of Keita’s mould would grant Can a greater freedom to break forward more regularly and a licence to stray from his conventional holding role.
The final months of last season reaffirmed the German’s attacking qualities in terms of his contributions to the intricate link up play and his runs from midfield into the penalty area. He has the technical and physical attributes as well as the ambitious forward-thinking approach designed to make him an influential box-to-box midfielder- something Klopp would be able to exploit were Keita to join.
After completing the signing of Mohamed Salah, Keita could be the man Liverpool turn to next.