A sweet Wednesday night in Munich was slightly soured for Liverpool, who saw captain Jordan Henderson having to be taken off after suffering an ankle injury.
While his departure didn’t really impact the result as the Reds rode on Sadio Mane’s brilliance to progress into the Champions League quarter-finals, an injury at this point could be worrying. Indeed, according to the club’s official site, he suffered a twisted ankle, though the extent isn’t yet.
However, thanks to their varied options, Liverpool have players to fall back upon. Indeed, a player who could be blessed by this unfortunate incident is Naby Keita, seemingly exiled from the starting XI in recent weeks.
The summer signing hasn’t proven to be as effective as Jurgen Klopp thought he would but is getting the slow grind towards immersing into the system. Keita now has the opportunity to prove his ability and be the hard-working midfielder who can take the pressure of their front-three.
Like Fred at Manchester United, he’s also had enough time to adapt to the Premier League’s conditions and is now primed to make his mark. He scored six goals and assisted five in the Bundesliga last season and will want to replicate similar numbers in the final stretch of the season.
A creative midfielder who adds more fuel to the attack, Keita now needs to take control and dictate Liverpool’s midfield in the next couple of weeks. The midfielder’s dominating potential is well known, but the next few months will determine whether he’ll thrive at Liverpool in the long term or be discarded as Jurgen Klopp’s failed experiment.
If he’s ever going to prove he’s worth the money, now’s the time.
Liverpool fans, do you feel Keita can finally come good as Henderson’s replacement? Join the discussion by commenting below.