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Newcastle: Pete O’Rourke claims Naby Keita has a “red flag”

Newcastle United have been sent a warning amid their reported interest in signing Naby Keita from Liverpool in the January transfer window…

What’s the talk?

Journalist Pete O’Rourke has claimed that the midfielder’s availability is a huge cause for concern and is something that the club should be looking at as a reason not to sign him.

Should Newcastle sign Naby Keita?





The Magpies are reportedly one of a number of teams eyeing up a potential swoop to sign the Guinea international at the start of 2023, alongside AC Milan and West Ham.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT:

“You’ve got to look at it as a big gamble. Obviously, Liverpool paid big money to sign Naby Keita a few years ago and Liverpool fans will argue that they’ve never seen the best of him because of his injuries.

“I think any club that’s maybe looking to sign Naby Keita has got to be looking at his injury record as a potential red flag.”

He’s a liability

Eddie Howe must heed O’Rourke’s warning and use this red flag as a reason not to bring the central midfielder to St. James’ Park in January.

Liverpool signed Keita for £48m in 2017 and he has failed to kick on at Anfield as he has struggled with his availability throughout his time in England. Reach journalist Josh Williams once dubbed him a “terrible liability” and that is exactly what he would be for the Magpies, judging by his injury record.

Since the start of the 2018/19 campaign, the midfielder has been absence for an eye-catching 82 competitive games – including 20 and counting in the current season.

He has had 17 separate injury or illness issues since joining the Reds and this shows that he is not a reliable player for Jurgen Klopp as he is consistently picking up knocks that are keeping him out of matches.

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Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson celebrates with Joelinton

How many 2021/22 Premier League goals did Newcastle score?

Keita averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.04 in the Premier League across 23 appearances for Liverpool last season, after managing a score of 6.69 in the 2020/21 campaign.

Joelinton (7.08) and Bruno Guimaraes (7.32) have both averaged higher ratings for Newcastle this term than the Reds man has in the last two seasons in the top-flight and this suggests that he would not be enough of an upgrade to be worth taking a huge gamble on.

His statistics do not indicate that he would be a better option than the aforementioned Brazilian gems and that is why Howe must heed the red flag that his injury record creates and avoid moving to sign the flop in January.

Keita’s lack of consistent availability indicates that he would be a liability for Newcastle, as he has been for Liverpool, and the club should be looking at alternative targets who do not have the same question mark hanging over their head.