Naby Keita still hasn’t started training again, following his latest injury in a seemingly never-ending list of them since his Anfield arrival in 2018.
When fit, he’s often glorious, as proven by his performance in the 7-0 victory over Crystal Palace – but that was his last game – meaning he’s going to have been absent for over a month by the time he returns.
James Pearce has explained in a Q&A with the Athletic how the situation is as frustrating for Jurgen Klopp as it is for us fans.
“Klopp said last week Naby Keita would be back “soon” but he didn’t train with the squad on Wednesday,” Pearce started… “Klopp shares the frustration of the fans and the player himself that Keita hasn’t been able to stay fit and make more of a contribution. It just seems to have been one problem after another. Like Matip, nobody doubts his quality but you just can’t count on him over the course of a season.”
We actually think when fully fit and in the mood, Keita is one of the most talented technicians at Klopp’s disposal, but that isn’t enough.
Jordan Henderson doesn’t possess Keita’s skillset, but he’s been consistently available in our past two years of glory and that’s enabled him to grow in confidence as the leader of our side.
The fact Keita plays a few games then has another break means he’s forever without rhythm and it’s clear Klopp simply cannot make him an integral part of his best starting XI because he won’t be able to feature the following week.