Naby Keita has not played a minute for Liverpool since Jurgen Klopp hauled him off in the first-half of our 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinal first-leg.
The Guinean has endured an awful season, in which he’s either been unavailable or simply not trusted to fulfil midfield duties by the boss.
On Sunday, Liverpool’s team-sheet was announced for the cancelled Manchester United game with 35-year-old James Milner starting ahead of the no.8 who is still the club’s third most expensive ever signing.
Something has gone wrong, hasn’t it? Klopp told fans that his long-term future remains with us, but was hardly unequivocal in his praise when recently asked for a Keita update.
“It’s a lot of things in this year, it was really tricky. We had to change so often and then in the moment you try to go for stability, it’s really like this and that’s what we need,” he told the official website.
“You can see now for example, Man United – I think the last line played nearly the last 20 games together. Then you can make changes everywhere because you have a proper basis. We never had that.
“Then on top of that, then making two or three changes in midfield just doesn’t work out in football. People say, ‘Try it.’ We would try definitely if we could be not only nearly sure that it could work out, but you need stability in a football team.
“Other teams are too good that you just make eight or nine changes. That hit a few players this year. Some of them were of course injured, coming back took a while.
“Naby trains really well in the moment, I have to say. He trains really well, like a lot of other players, and looks really good in training. But this year now we need stability.
“We will make changes from time to time definitely, but it’s not like we pick now seven, eight, nine players to change and say, ‘Maybe we can win it like this.’ The long-term future of Naby Keita, from my point of view, is here, yes.”
We can see Liverpool selling Keita in the summer. He’ll be one of a select number of players we can make good money from, who wouldn’t necessarily weaken us too badly.
He could have been great, but we think Klopp has largely made his mind up on him following the embarrassing 40 minutes in Spain…
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also a potential for the exit-door, so we’d suggest it more likely that one and two of that pair end up departing.