The Liverpool fans in the Transfer Tavern simply cannot wait to see Naby Keita complete his move to Anfield this summer, but there is reason to suggest that another midfielder holds the key to their club’s title bid next season.
Naby Keita’s transfer to Liverpool has been the talk of the tavern in recent weeks, as plenty of supporters have been monitoring his progress at RB Leipzig in order to gain an idea of what to expect from their new signing. The Guinea international will arrive with plenty of expectation due to his price-tag and his excellent form in the Bundesliga, but the supporters cannot expect him to light up the Premier League during his first season with the club.
Making a transfer to the Premier League often proves to be a difficult learning curve for even the most talented of players, and there’s no reason why Keita should be an exception to that rule. Nontheless, his impact could still prove to be the difference between a comfortable top-four finish and a genuine title challenge over the course of the season.
However, the performances of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (valued at £27 million by Transfermarkt) from midfield could almost single-handedly dictate Liverpool’s success next season. The England international endured a tough opening to life with the Reds following his slightly controversial transfer from Arsenal in the summer of 2017, but since he adapted to his new surroundings he has gone from strength to strength.
Whatever Jurgen Klopp has said to him or forced him to work on during training has clearly had the desired effect. In a new look box-to-box midfield role, Oxlade-Chamberlain has blossomed into a complete midfielder with the ability to influence proceedings at both ends of the pitch.
If he is able to shrug off a potential World Cup hangover and continue his fine form of late into the new season then Liverpool will have a fantastic opportunity of challenging for England’s top prize next season.
The arrival of Naby Keita will certainly be a massive boost to everybody involved with the club, but the hopes of an entire season cannot be placed on the shoulders of a player making his debut season in English football, so Liverpool will need to rely on the experienced Oxlade-Chamberlain to continue his development and spearhead his side’s title-bid from midfield next season.
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