An influx of suggestions that a deal has been agreed for Liverpool to sign Naby Keita has provoked what promises to be an prolonged obsession amongst fans for the midfielder.
It has been made no secret that the Guinean sits high on Jurgen Klopp’s wishlist, with the Reds boss seemingly prepared to shatter the club’s transfer record and pay somewhere close to RB Leipzig’s reported £70million asking price for the player.
Apparent progress saw Keita take the spotlight again on Friday as it was claimed that agreeing a fee was all that was left to be done, something that triggered fans to believe the move was well and truly on.
Though the reviews of the 22-year-old have been consistently positive since he emerged as one of Liverpool’s top targets, very few have seen a lot of him during his time in Germany.
With this in mind, Archie Rhind-Tutt, a German football expert for BT Sport, The Independent and
“He’s such an enjoyable player to watch as well, in terms of the way that he roves about the pitch, the way that he’s able to dribble with it, and indeed his range of passing,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“I don’t think there was another player that was able to beat players so much with his passing, and create chances for his teammates in such a fashion. But particularly that dribbling side of his game.”
“That ability to create something out of nothing, I’m sure that Liverpool fans would crave that sort of player – as any team’s fans do. He is, I would say, an essential big-game player.”
“It’s the way he is able to get about the pitch so quickly. I can tell you that he very much idolises Andres Iniesta for the way that he plays, and Keita has been known before games this season to watch clips of Iniesta to give him inspiration.
“He also has this great aggression in the tackle. Ralph Hassenhutl, his coach and one of the top coaches in Europe, put a fine point in sorting out Keita’s defensive style at the start of the season, and the way that he aggressively hoovers the ball up and takes it on has that N’Golo Kante element.”
Signing Keita would secure Liverpool valuable expertise in both sides of the game, thereby making him a perfect fit to a team that turns such a focus towards quick ball retrieval followed by a swift transition from defence to attack.
There is not only a notable athleticism and energy to his game that promises to bolster Liverpool’s explosive edge but also an intelligence that rules out poor decision making.
He would represent the signing a lot of Reds would be most excited about this summer.