Liverpool

Keita’s time could be running out if he doesn’t prove his worth to Klopp

Keita’s time could be running out if he doesn’t prove his worth to Klopp

Jurgen Klopp was a busy man in the summer transfer window, addressing Liverpool’s weaknesses for a title charge.

Having finished last season 25 points behind title winners Manchester City in the Premier League, Liverpool needed to strengthen to stand a chance of being in the title race.

And so they did.

The additions of Alisson Becker, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri looked to be the perfect moves for The Reds’ squad, given where they lacked depth and quality.

Alisson and Shaqiri have impressed especially, with Fabinho now adjusting to English football and improving with the more faith that is placed in him.

However, there is one player who is undoubtedly struggling this season, and that is Keita.

The Guinean international was brought in to try and solve Liverpool’s lack of creativity in the midfield, given that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains out with a long-term injury, yet he has failed to register a goal or assist in 19 appearances so far this season.

Keita started the season in a midfield three and has since been tested out wide on left, which did not go to plan as, obviously, he is not a natural winger.

But there is no doubt Keita has the talent, he showed it in Germany at RB Leipzig with nine goals and seven assists last season. That was even from the deep-lying playmaker position where he featured in a duo of holding midfielders to make matters even more impressive.

The 23-year-old knows that role well and could try to replicate similar form in that role now Klopp has been using 4-2-3-1 of late, rather than 4-3-3. To do so, he will need to earn Klopp’s faith which may be running out.

Keita will need to step up, and fast, as Liverpool could look to strengthen their midfield with another creative midfielder in January to provide the spark that has been missing since Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury. In that case, Keita would suffer as he may struggle to get game time with Klopp’s patience only lasting so long.

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