Didi Hamann once made some pretty harsh and unfair comments on Jordan Henderson, and Liverpool’s skipper went on to make him regret them – so we can only hope Naby Keita does the same!
The German has explained how while there is still an opportunity for Keita to come consistently good at Anfield, he doesn’t think the Guinean will live up to the massive expectations we had for him upon his arrival – and that if a big offer came in, it should be considered.
In fairness, any big offer for a player who’s been as injured as Keita should be discussed – although unlike Hamann – we think the 25-year-old’s talent means he can still become an enormous success over the next five seasons.
“The patience with Keita is still there,” Hamann told James Pearce in an article on Keita in the Athletic. “Some players make a major breakthrough after three or four years at a club. It does happen. I don’t see Klopp giving up on him any time soon. But whether you could get a big fee for him and that money could be better spent elsewhere is maybe something that will need to be considered.
“The question is does Keita really believe he can become a major part of the team? Will the penny drop? Personally, I don’t think he will ever be the player at Liverpool that everyone expected him to be when he first signed because of the way the team sets up. But there’s still plenty of room for improvement. It’s down to him.”
Keita is the only big money signing under Jurgen Klopp who hasn’t made his fee look a bargain – but during his time at the club, we’ve still won the Champions League and will win the Premier League this term when the season resumes – so you couldn’t call the deal a mistake.
We think the current break will actually do him a world of good. Keita didn’t get a pre-season in 2019, as he was rushed off to the AFCON to play through injury, which meant he’s been playing catchup this term and has picked up niggling issues as a result.
A clean bill of health will do him wonders, and when the title is secured, Klopp may have seven ‘free games’ in which he can field Keita from the outset and boost his confidence and tactical understanding ahead of 2020/21.