Jurgen Klopp is fully confident that Naby Keita will come good at Liverpool, James Pearce writes in the Echo.
The Guinean has been our only disappointing signing of summer 2018, failing to replicate his jaw-dropping Bundesliga form in the Premier League so far.
He’s not been helped by the fact he picked up injuries early on and has had to switch position on multiple occasions – all while being in and out of the side – but no Red could suggest he’s lived up to his billing yet.
Wednesday night’s draw with Leicester provides a good summary of Keita’s Liverpool career. He made one superb burst into the box and was incredibly unlucky not to be awarded a penalty – but failed to provide much of a presence centrally and didn’t run with the ball or make any decisive passes.
Pearce claims that Klopp will keep faith with the 23-year-old, who he fully believes will ‘grow in stature’ in the coming months.
To us, it looks like Keita is a pure-confidence player – and he’s obviously lacking it. At Rb Leipzig he exuded arrogance – running with the ball, harassing players, shooting from distance. At Liverpool, he looks anxious as to the tactical demands expected of him when he gets on the ball.
On debut v West Ham, he glided round the pitch, finding pockets of space and putting in a superb performance. We just really hope he finds that level again before the summer as if he does, he’ll be a superb addition to our midfield and attack in transition.