Naby Keita blamed for midfield horror-show after stat emerges – but Fabinho and Wijnaldum were no better

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Naby Keita was hauled off early against Aston Villa, but in truth, we actually got worse upon his exit.

The Guinean was good in our first three games, but has been slightly scapegoated by journalist Dom King – named as one of the reasons for our failure at Villa Park.

“Midfielder Naby Keita did not make a tackle or an interception. Remarkably, the Guinea international has yet to make a successful tackle in four appearances so far,” he writes in the Mail.

“He hasn’t made an interception since the 4-3 win over Leeds.

“That cannot be right for the £52million signing, who was a club-record buy two years but has yet to hit the heights. If the engine room isn’t functioning, problems will crop up elsewhere. The midfield’s failure at Villa Park left the defence horribly exposed.”

Keita obviously failed to do what was expected of him on Sunday night, but Fabinho was abysmal and Gini Wijnaldum not much better.

It’s important that we don’t start picking on players and over-analysing what was a disaster for everybody.

What is a fact though is that Jordan Henderson will be back available for the Merseyside Derby and we can’t wait to have our captain back in the middle of the park.

His communication, organisation and leadership will help plenty. Thiago is also an option for Jurgen Klopp and it’ll be interesting to see if the boss brings both of them into the side immediately.

Our guess would be Hendo starts, with Thiago an option from the bench.

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