- RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl discusses Naby Keita’s dip in form
- Guinean has struggled to replicate sparkling form from 2016/2017 campaign
- Keita set to officially sign with Liverpool in July
- SEE MORE: Karius speaks out on Liverpool’s search for new goalkeeper
RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl admits Naby Keita hasn’t quite lived up to the high standards he set for himself last season.
The Guinean emerged as a leading force behind Leipzig’s shock second-place finish in the Bundesliga in their first season since being promoted to Germany’s top flight.
His all-action midfield approach saw him attract interest from across Europe, with Leipzig subsequently battling hard to keep hold of him ahead of their Champions League campaign.
Keita bagged eight goals in 31 league appearances last season, but has only mustered three so far this term.
Hasenhuttl told Sport Bild: “Naby is not as consistent this year as last year. It’s important that he brings his expectations back to normal levels.”
“I’m not one who wants to motivate with fear. I don’t immediately get the whip out in the classic sense and I don’t kick the players non-stop.”
His disciplinary also surfaced as a concern during the first half of the season as Keita was sent off three times in 10 games for club and country.
Besides his controversy, the 22-year-old has also reaffirmed his attacking quality with a spread of superb individual goals.
Keita is scheduled to officially sign for Liverpool in July having agreed a deal in principle to join the club last summer.
The Reds attempted to move the transfer forward following Philippe Coutinho’s January move to Barcelona, but were met with a stern insistence from Leipzig that Keita would not be sold midway through the season.