Amid their title challenge and one of the best seasons ever produced by an English side, there have been some valid complaints regarding Liverpool’s attacking style solely being pegged on their fantastic front-three.
Considering their quality and the form all three showed last season, they are expected to take the ball forward and create for themselves, as the Reds’ midfielders are normally too cautious to move forward.
‘Workmanlike’ is a term often bandied about when talking about the Reds.
However, the solution to eradicate the midfield’s creative block has finally been found.
Naby Keita, who was brought onto be that driving factor in Liverpool’s midfield, is successfully acting as their fourth attacker. The industrial midfielder’s finally come good for the Reds, showcasing his stunning ability at the best time possible, months after his £54m arrival from Germany.
After his inspired contribution against Southampton, where he scored his first Premier League goal to save Liverpool from misery, Keita weaved his magic in the Champions League. With another goal, he made it two in two and, if he wins his club either of those competitions, his transfer fee will look an absolute steal.
However, more than just the goals, it’s his overall contribution which made Liverpool pay big bucks for him.
Keita’s brought that unique factor no other Liverpool midfielder is capable of. Unlike Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, who like to sit back and dictate things, he’s more encouraged to go forward. Keita’s link-up play is superb, as he’s now been unshackled by Klopp, allowing him to wander into promising positions and fill the box with his tricky presence.
He gave a great example of his talent against FC Porto, making 60+ passes, 6 tackles, 10 recoveries and 3 successful dribbles (stats via Fotmob). The Guinean international’s sparked up his game after properly understanding Jurgen Klopp’s system.
He’s now showcasing the perfect blend of steel and creativity to help Liverpool plough through stubborn opponents, while also silencing those who mocked him.
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