Jurgen Klopp has spoken about Liverpool’s second most expensive ever player, Naby Keita.
The Guinean arrived with huge fanfare and expectation, after the deal had been agreed a year previous, which heightened supporter excitement.
On his full debut v West Ham, Keita shone, playing a brilliant part in our first goal, by driving through midfield and perfectly feeding Andy Robertson with the outside of his boot, with the Scot then squaring for Mo Salah.
But following that 90 minutes, he’s either struggled to find his top level or missed out through injury.
In fact, Keita hasn’t played more than 45 minutes since the 0-0 draw with Manchester City at the beginning of October.
“Naby Keita will be – and he is – an outstanding player,” he told the official website. “I don’t read the English press, but this week I caught a headline of something and I didn’t say it like this or mean it like that – Naby was not average since he came in. The situation after he got injured was average because he has to get fit again, but the start was brilliant. He will be a massive player in the future for LFC and he is already. He is now really fit, he looks sharp in training, but as it is at a club like ours sometimes you have to wait a bit longer for the moment. And when you get the moment, then you have to be ready. That’s how it is. He is an outstanding player and we are happy to have him.”
We’d be surprised if Keita started against PSG tonight, in all honesty.
He’s very talented, but tactically doesn’t have the understanding of Klopp’s instructions yet, to the extent which Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum do, for example.
As a result, we think that trio will begin the match, with Fabinho and Keita on the bench…
We still have very high hopes for Keita long-term and we’re glad Klopp does too. Perhaps our game with Burnley midweek at the beginning of December will be a good chance for the 23-year-old to start.