Liverpool’s 4-1 win at Genk in the Champions League on Wednesday night was another sign that they’re not quite at their best yet. The four goals in the second half arguably masked what was a below-par performance for the Reds and 24-year-old Naby Keita was once again a talking point for fans.
Jurgen Klopp was critical of his own side’s display despite the comfortable scoreline in Belgium – though it was Keita’s individual showing that had Liverpool fans debating his worth to the team.
He’s not started a game in the Premier League this season, making just one sub appearance for eight minutes, but he was trusted to line-up against Genk. He had an impressive pass completion rate of 92.6% during his 91 minutes and was rated 7.61/10 by WhoScored for his performance, compared to his 6.74 rating across his 25 appearances in the Premier League last season.
Meanwhile, Keita had the most touches throughout the game with 140 – more than any player on either side – indicating his level of influence on proceedings.
When Liverpool news aggregator Anfield Watch asked if fans were happy with Keita via their Twitter account with a picture of the 24-year-old in action, the replies were mixed, to say the least. Some weren’t impressed and described him as slow, while others thought he deserved a start over club captain Jordan Henderson.
Happy with this man tonight? 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/eourMECPze
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) 23 October 2019
Here’s the reaction of some fans who loved Keita performance on Wednesday:
We should forget Henderson
— fosu augustine (@fosuaugustine38) 23 October 2019
Can’t remember when last we had a midfielder that demanded the ball so much. He moved the ball well and also didn’t pull out of tackles when it was needed.
— malcom govender (@malz10) 24 October 2019
Very happy with him…. He bossed the midfield
— #freedadiyatanow Adeleye Oluyemi A. (@Babawon123) 23 October 2019
But some fans weren’t convinced that he’s ready to take a spot in Liverpool’s strongest 11:
Bit sloppy and seemed slow. Leaves the team leggy in midfield and open at the back. Hopefully he just needs more game time.
— David Bushell (@davs_b) 24 October 2019
He still need to adapt out intensity
He is creative but I don’t know there is something wrong with him
— Nasser Shamlawi (@NasserShamlawi) 23 October 2019
He was on top of the game, he needs to improve into the defensive role though
— Jeremiah Mrema (@JeremiahMrema1) 24 October 2019
Liverpool fans, how important do you think Naby Keita will be for your club this season?