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Liverpool: Noel Whelan reacts to Naby Keita contract talks

Liverpool: Noel Whelan reacts to Naby Keita contract talks -Liverpool News

Former Premier League striker Noel Whelan has been reacting to the news that Liverpool are in contract talks with Naby Keita. 

The lowdown: Contract talks

Signed for a then club-record £48m from RB Leipzig in July 2017 (BBC), the Guinea midfielder arrived on Merseyside 12 months later after a spell in the Bundesliga.

However, owing predominately to injury woes, the 27-year-old has had a mixed spell of peaks at troughs with the Reds, whilst making 116 appearances for the club.

Fast approaching the final year of his contract at Anfield (Transfermarkt), FSG are reportedly in talks to offer the Guinean a new deal, and one intrigued onlooker has had his say on that development…

The latest: Inconsistency reigns

Speaking to Football Insider, former Leeds striker Whelan has claimed that Keita’s sporadic levels of performance must come to an end after signing fresh terms with Liverpool.

The one-time BBC Radio host said: “We all expected a lot more from Keita. He’s been hit-and-miss. We’ve seen some spectacular performances, but also some average performances.

“He needs to work on his consistency and being a lot more involved in that midfield area. He’s got to command that area like Thiago does and like Wijnaldum did. Klopp obviously believes there is a player there and that he is capable of improving, or he wouldn’t be offering him a new contract.

“His aim in the next season has got to be to find that consistency in his game.”

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The verdict: Spot on

Unfortunately for Keita, the 48-cap Guinea captain has struggled to maintain his standards for prolonged spells since joining Liverpool, although fitness and injury issues have often curtailed any progress.

Moreover, the dynamic midfielder has often gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, having won consecutive Man of the Match awards in December 2019 but also being hauled off in the first half against Real Madrid in April 2021, rather underlining Whelan’s call for improved consistency.

Should Keita get a new deal at Liverpool?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Keita enjoyed a relatively clean bill of health in 2021/22 and as such scored four times and provided three assists in 40 appearances across all competitions, the highest number of games that the Guinean has managed in a single campaign in four years at Anfield.

Despite the aforementioned inconsistency, tying him down beyond 2023 is somewhat of a no-brainer for the club, particularly in order to protect another asset, with both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah rebelling against their own contract proposals.

In other news… a Premier League club has reportedly made an approach for one of Liverpool’s defenders


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Article title: Liverpool: Noel Whelan reacts to Naby Keita contract talks

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