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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.