Since joining Liverpool in July of 2018, Naby Keita has endured several spells on the sidelines, putting his rise to the top on hold and potentially damaging his future at Anfield. However, it must be said that when he has managed a consistent spell in Jurgen Klopp’s side, the former Leipzig midfielder has impressed and performed to the ever-growing expectations of the Liverpool fans. It is clear that Keita’s ability is not the obstacle that stands in the way of his career growth at Liverpool, but instead his inability to stay fit for more than a couple games at a time.
Naby Keita: The Underappreciated Cog in the Liverpool Machine
If Liverpool were to solve the injury-prone nature of the 25-year-old, they would have one of the best all-round midfielders in the Premier League. Despite being injured for most of his Liverpool career, Keita has still recorded stats similar to the often highly praised Fred at Manchester United.
When it comes to goal contributions, for example, Keita has registered the same amount in 2000 fewer minutes than that of Fred in the past two seasons. Once again, it highlights both his talent, and the fact that the only thing holding him back is injuries.
When it comes to link-up play in the final third, Liverpool poses a threat more dangerous than most in Europe with Naby Keita, when fit and firing, joining forces with the likes of Mohamed Salah. But it’s not just the attacking third of the pitch where his ability shows, with his ability in the defensive third also impressive.
The former Leipzig man has averaged 3.9 tackles in the Liverpool midfield despite only playing 368 minutes in the Premier League this season. This is a statistic that, once again, that Fred has failed to match. The Brazilian has completed a significantly lower number of tackles with 2.2 despite playing over 1000 minutes more in the Premier League this season. With that being said, it begs the question as to why Keita attracts so many critiques despite outperforming those who have been, in contrast, showered with praise this season.
Will Only Continue to Improve
Naby Keita’s injury record is disrupting him showing his true talent. Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to see his midfielder pick up a consistent run in the side next season. Then he will prove his doubters wrong in the process.
He will finally show his worth to this Liverpool team.
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