The Naby Keita conundrum is one that Liverpool fans can talk about for hours.
Rarely has a new signing got Reds more excited – exaggerated by the fact we had to wait 12 months to see him in action after we agreed a future transfer with Rb Leipzig back in 2017.
But two years into his Liverpool career, Keita is arguably the fifth choice central midfielder behind Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – and it should be noted that in the last game before lockdown v Atletico Madrid – he didn’t make the bench.
One issue early on was the fact he didn’t speak English and was struggling to comprehend the tactical demands Jurgen Klopp had of him – but according to James Pearce in the Athletic – the no.8 does now speak the language and is a far more confident, popular member of the squad as a result.
“Naturally shy, he has benefited greatly from the English lessons, which have enabled him to feel part of the spirit and camaraderie that Klopp prides himself on, after initially finding life tough on Merseyside,” Pearce writes.
“He still prefers to do interviews in French via an interpreter but he communicates well with team-mates and staff in English.”
He probably should have used the 12 months before his arrival to get stuck into learning English, but at least he’s cracking it now…
This unwanted break will at least allow the 25-year-old to rid himself of any niggling injury issues which have stunted his Liverpool career to date.
We haven’t given up on Keita and desperately want him to fulfil his potential with us and not elsewhere.