Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has shed some light on why he left Naby Keita out of the Merseyside Derby, as the Reds smashed their closest rivals 5-2 at Anfield.
The German admits that he wasn’t “brave enough” to include the Guinean in the team selection, and confirms it had little to do with his ability.
“Now, in this moment, he is in outstanding shape,” Klopp told Amazon Prime Sport. “But we changed five positions, and I was not brave enough to change a sixth position, that was the problem, otherwise he would have played as well.”
The midfielder has struggled with injuries in recent years, but it looked like it was getting back on track for the Reds; No.8.
That being said, to be left out of such a huge game isn’t a kick in the teeth for a player struggling to find form, but there will surely be an eyebrow raised by the Guinean international when Adam Lallana, Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi were all named in the starting XI.
The Reds have got a testing schedule coming up this month so there will be plenty more chances for the midfielder to get some game time and hopefully build himself back up.
With the additional fixtures of the FIFA Club World Cup, it’s even more likely that Naby will get some good quality game time, especially with a host of youngsters making the trip over to the tournament.