Italian journalist and transfer insider Fabrizio Romano has given an update on the future of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain following their exclusion from the Reds’ Champions League squad.
On Monday, he claimed (via Caught Offside): “There was some eye-catching Liverpool news yesterday as both Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were left out of the club’s Champions League squad.
“I believe that next summer both players will evaluate their future. Keita has already had opportunities in the summer but Liverpool wanted to keep him because Klopp considers him an important player in the rotations.”
It is clear that change needs to happen when it comes to the players in Liverpool’s midfield, which continues to be horrendously injury-prone and unable to deliver when crucially needed over the season.
Both Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain are renowned for their lack of availability, with the pair – who cost the club a combined £87.75m in transfer fees alone – accumulating a large number of injuries over their Liverpool career. The former has had 17 separate illness and injury issues across four years at Anfield, while the latter has had eight injuries over his five years on Merseyside.
The Guinea international in particular has spent almost a year unavailable for selection, with 359 days tallied from absences, and he has been recently the subject of attention with reports that he is unwilling to sign a new contract with the club.
The best thing that Jurgen Klopp can do is to just get rid of the pair of unreliable midfielders, who have a combined 40 Premier League appearances out of a possible 88 since the start of last season. It is especially frustrating when you consider how much money in wages the two players are collecting whilst unable to contribute to the team.
Keita earns £130k-per-week whilst Oxlade-Chamberlain collects £125k-per-week, a combined salary which could attract almost any midfielder across the top five European leagues to join the Reds. That must be brought into consideration when the transfer window reopens in January or next summer.
The two midfielders have become deadwood in the team due to their frequency of absences and scant goal contribution (five between them in the league since August 2021) and can’t offer the intensity needed for Liverpool to continue competing for trophies at the highest level, so Klopp must cut his losses and let them go as soon as possible.