Jose Enrique has suggested that Naby Keita is in last chance saloon this season for Liverpool.
The Guinean international has played a starting role in the Reds’ opening league fixtures, quietly impressing in a subdued midfield role.
“Keita can be amazing in pre-season but then when he starts the campaign his level drops and he struggles with injury,” the former Red told Empire of the Kop. “This season is make or break for him – he’s going to be a world-class player or we’ll need to sell him. All or nothing with Keita.”
The departure of Gini Wijnaldum early in the summer window has raised persistent questions over whether the club intends to secure a like-for-like replacement, though it seems increasingly likely that Jurgen Klopp will stick with his current options in the middle of the park.
Ideally, given recent history, we’d like to see the recruitment team manage to secure a replacement for our reliable former No.5, particularly now that Xherdan Shaqiri’s exit has technically freed up space in the non-homegrown quota.
Theoretically, however, if we could continue to see the quality of performance issued by the likes of Keita and Harvey Elliott as backup options – without any injury concerns arising – we do have the numbers to survive a campaign.
Liverpool may need some luck with injuries this term to compete at all levels but the early signs have certainly proven to be encouraging.