Naby Keita’s career at Liverpool is something that gets Reds talking…
He arrived with such a huge reputation from Germany, but after almost two full seasons, he hasn’t shown us enough of the player who was regarded by many as the best in a Bundesliga that included Bayern Munich stars like Robert Lewandowski and Thiago…
David Lynch of the Standard though has made a mighty interesting point in regards to Keita that is often overlooked.
He told Anfield Watch that when we signed Keita, we were using an attacking midfielder tactically, but the role of the central three changed due to the emergence of our fullbacks as genuine playmakers…
“One thing I don’t think gets discussed enough when it comes to Keita is the fact that Liverpool agreed to sign him in the summer of 2017 and, by the time he joined a year later, the system they used had evolved in an unexpected way,” he began.
“The arrival of Andy Robertson and the huge leaps taken by Trent Alexander-Arnold meant Klopp had effectively decided that risky, defence-splitting passes would be made almost exclusively by his full-backs, while the midfielders would be asked to simply lock down the centre of the pitch and provide a platform for that to happen.
“That is not the job that a forward-thinking player like Keita probably thought he was coming in to do, though it hasn’t stopped him having some excellent games since signing for the club. Of course, if he is to continue to finding his niche in this collection of midfielders, then he will absolutely have to stay fit going forward. Klopp loves the player and he isn’t ready to give up on him just yet, but there’s no getting away from the fact that next season is absolutely massive for him, is there?”
Keita, who recently decided to shave his head during isolation, will be keen to make an impact on the final nine games of the season when the Premier League returns this summer. For the time being, check out BetMGM for your sporting fix.
As Lynch mentions, the key with Keita, as well as his tactical understanding of Klopp’s demands, is fitness.
If the Guinean can’t play four or five games in a row, he’ll never fulfil his potential at Anfield.
We have enormously high hopes for him still – and after two years of acclimatisation – and a genuine pre-season – next term may be the one where he shows the world what he can do.