Noel Whelan has claimed that Naby Keita doesn’t deserve a new contract at Liverpool and believes the Guinean has not ‘put enough’ into the Reds during his time at the club.
The No. 8 joined from RB Leipzig in 2018 for £52.75m and although he’s showed glimpses of what he’s capable of, he’s yet to live up to the potential and is rapidly running out of time to do so.
The 27-year-old is out of contract at Anfield in the summer and although there’s a ‘serious possibility’ that he’ll be allowed to leave for free at the end of the season, the former Leeds striker believes he hasn’t done enough to warrant a new deal anyway.
“To be quite honest I do not think he deserves a new contract,” Whelan told Football Insider (via TEAMtalk).
“I do not think he has put enough into the football club, I do not think he has put enough minutes on the field to be worthy of a new contract.
“He has been plagued with injuries since he came to the club. We have seen him sporadically throughout certain seasons and competitions but he never managed to nail down a definitive role for Liverpool.
“In the back of people’s minds he is a player that they would love to have but the question mark is can they keep him fit. He will be demanding big wages and you do not want to play him for half a season for three years.”
When you consider that Jurgen Klopp is desperate to sign a new midfielder and has made Jude Bellingham his top target, it’s bemusing to think that we may see a midfielder leave the club for free at the end of the season.
The Guinea international’s injury record is far from ideal, however, and he hasn’t quite been the player that we thought we’d signed four years ago.
At just 27, though, he does still have time ahead of him and some would argue that he still has the potential to become an important player for us.
Many clubs around Europe will be licking their lips at the thought of signing Keita for free so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.