Naby Keita made his first start of the season last night against MK Dons – putting in a performance of composure, if little creativity.
The no.8 was hooked in the second-half, but there was thankfully no recurrence of any injury and he’ll likely be on the bench for the Sheffield United tie at the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp has praised Keita’s ability, but suggested he needs to work on the tactical demands of his position one side of a holding midfielder in our 4-3-3 formation.
As a result, there’ll be ‘no rush’ in getting him starting Premier League games automatically.
“We don’t have to decide it too quick on Naby,” said Klopp, cited in the Echo.
“He looked really good in moments but he has to adapt to the position and you see it with Ox (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) as well.
“Naturally you move much more and find each other and that is how it is. In moments you saw what an incredible player he is, but we don’t have to rush it now.
“We can use him now and that is good, it is a long season to go and everything will be fine.”
Keita and Ox have the ability to provide us dynamism and running from central areas, but we understand why Klopp currently trusts Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum over them in his starting XI.
The duo are disciplined and understand 100% what is expected of them – especially when it comes to covering for our overlapping fullbacks.
Long-term, Keita has the ability to make the spot on the left of Fabinho his own, but we reckon his appearances over the next few weeks will be in rotation.