Liverpool are having a difficult start to their season, picking up just nine points in the Premier League so far and suffering an embarrassing defeat in Naples last night, losing 4-1 in their Champions League opener.
Jurgen Klopp made it clear in his post-match interview following the poor performance from the Reds that they need to “reinvent” themselves over the season ahead in order to pick up more wins and progress in the tournaments they are competing in.
As a result, with the manager expressing a need for change he will surely be looking at the players who have lacked contribution to the team and have not been reliable in instances when they have needed to be called upon.
One of the most obvious contributions to Liverpool’s decline is the injury crisis that the club have been dealing with over the campaign so far. A number of key players have sustained fitness problems including Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Diogo Jota and Naby Keita.
Keita who was dubbed “awful” by Liverpool writer Leanne Prescott has not been seen at all this season on the pitch. That’s ever since Sky Sports journalist Florian Plettenberg revealed during the transfer window that the player was not happy at the club.
Plettenberg revealed last month on Twitter: “He is unhappy with his current situation in Liverpool. There were talks about a contract extension but they have stopped now.”
However, following the speculation surrounding Keita’s future it has been reported that the midfielder has been struggling with a serious hamstring injury sustained in training.
The Guinea international’s latest injury issue is the 17th since he arrived at Anfield back in 2018, with the player tallying up 361 days in recovery over the last four years, whilst collecting £120k-per-week following his £52.7m switch.
That is a staggering sum of money which when you take into account his annual wage, takes the overall figure FSG have spent on him to a jaw-dropping sum of around £77.5m.
Over his 117 appearances for the side averaging at 51 minutes per performance, it has cost Liverpool £662k-per-game and £7m per goal (11 strikes in total), with the midfielder also earning £6.2m solely while he on the Merseysiders’ injury table.
With that being said, Klopp must finally ditch Keita and move his focus on building a strong midfield presence with his players that can offer the availability needed for the team to improve their form going forward.
To put it simply, the midfielder hasn’t been reliable enough for the Reds during the course of his four years, merely burning a rather large hole in FSG’s pockets instead.