Jurgen Klopp will surely be frustrated with Naby Keita following his latest injury setback and it may well be time the German manager cashes in on the Guinean midfielder.
Since joining from RB Leipzig for £48 million in 2018, in what was a club-record fee at the time it was agreed, he has suffered a number of injuries that have prevented him from ever really enjoying a long-run in the first-team.
The 25-year-old went off injured in the recent 3-0 win against Leicester City with a muscle complaint, with Klopp bemoaning his side’s injury problems following the game, saying:
“It’s a tricky situation and when Naby goes off with a muscle injury you know the problems will not get smaller. The boys know when they are allowed to train with us they have the quality to do so, we don’t give tickets for training, you have to qualify with talent and aptitude. It is a tough school, there a lot of steps to go.
“We have to make sure we recover but the Naby injury didn’t help at all.” (per Goal)
In his two years with Liverpool, Keita has made 68 appearances for the first-team, contributing seven goals and four assists in that time (per Transfermarkt).
Considering the number of injury issues facing Liverpool at the moment, Klopp could have really benefitted from having a senior member of his side such as Keita fit and available for what will be a busy Christmas period.
Therefore, his recent injury will be the cause of much frustration for Klopp and perhaps the Guinean international has now run out of chances at Anfield.
Virgil van Dijk is a big fan of the midfielder, praising him in an interview with the club earlier this year, saying:
“Naby is a fantastic guy, he works so hard and he is an outstanding football player. We see it week in and week out. He has unfortunately been unlucky with some injuries, but hopefully, he can stay fully fit for the next season.
“I think he is world-class if I’m absolutely honest. I see all the moments when he has the ball, the smart moves, the smart intelligence. It’s just incredible to see and I’m very happy for him.” (per Liverpool FC)
However, his performances this season have been below par, with him averaging a disappointing 6.43 rating across his five Premier League appearances this season (per WhoScored).
Therefore, when you consider his poor performances, as well as his less than impressive injury record, you wonder whether Klopp may decide to axe the 25-year-old in January, as he has arguably let his manager down when he needed him most.