It just hasn’t gone right for Naby Keita so far at Liverpool.
When the Reds spent £48m on his services in 2017, it looked to be a very well judged piece of business. However, across this season and last, he has managed just 51 appearances in all competitions, with a constant flow of injuries one of the reasons why he has failed to make his mark at Anfield.
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There have been rumours linking him with a move back to RB Leipzig, but the Merseyside outfit must resist the urge to part ways with him just yet.
Here are three reasons why they should give him one final chance…
Georginio Wijnaldum has been a stalwart for Jurgen Klopp ever since he signed from Newcastle in 2016 – he has made 177 appearances since then – but his future remains in doubt.
It has been said that the Reds are content with the prospect of letting Wijnaldum, who is valued at £45m by Transfermarkt, leave for a fee in the summer amid interest in his services from teams in Italy and Spain, per The Athletic.
That, therefore, would leave the door open for the Guinea international, and would save Liverpool going out and signing another midfielder.
Wijnaldum’s loss could be Keita’s gain.
Form this term
Once again, Keita has failed to nail down a starting spot in the Reds’ starting XI – he has played just 18 times this season – but that does not mean that he has not put in any good performances at all.
In December, he managed three goals and one assist in three games, including a strike in the Club World Cup semi-final.
Whilst that has not been a regular occurrence during his time at the club, it shows that the quality is still there – it is just up to Klopp and the 25-year-old to harness it.
As mentioned previously, Keita cost Liverpool £48m – a club-record fee at the time. Of course, his performances in Germany deserved such a fee – he was a lynchpin in Leipzig’s midfield, scoring 10 goals and providing eight assists in 37 games as the newly-promoted side finished second in the Bundesliga during the 2016/17 season.
Therefore, his signature has represented a significant investment from Liverpool’s hierarchy – it would be such a waste for them to cut their losses and move him on now before he has even had a real stint in the first XI – he has never started more than four Premier League games in a row.
He deserves a real run to prove he has what it takes to make it in England.