Since arriving from RB Leipzig back in the summer, Naby Keita has failed to hit the heights of his time in the Bundesliga and has largely disappointed so far in his debut season at Liverpool.
The Guinea international has made just 10 starts for Jurgen Klopp this season as he battles to dislodge the likes of Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum, James Milner and Jordan Henderson from the starting lineup, but has struggled to do so as he attempts to rediscover his form and fitness.
Interestingly, the Reds were so keen on the 23-year-old that they initially agreed the deal back in the summer of 2017, and were happy to wait for the midfielder to arrive after Leipzig refused to let him go.
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However, their faith in him looks slightly misjudged right now, as he is yet to score or even assist a goal in a Liverpool shirt. Perhaps he is still adapting to English football, as Klopp thinks is the case, but he is also noticeably lacking confidence every time he steps onto the pitch – it is telling that he has mainly featured when the former Borussia Dortmund boss is looking to rotate his squad.
Incidentally, in the Merseysiders’ most recent run out in the FA Cup, Keita failed to step up as a senior member of the side on a night where even 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever outshone him on his first ever appearance in senior football.
Liverpool lost 2-1 to Nuno Espirito Santo’s side at the Molineux on Monday night, mainly due to their lack of a goal threat as well as a drive from midfield – the exact reason why Keita was bought in.
The Guinean is renowned for his all-action displays in midfield, where he used to excel at intercepting the ball, carrying it forward with exquisite dribbling skills and creating opportunities, but none of those traits were on show against Wolves.
Keita failed to have a single shot on goal, and also failed to register a key pass throughout the entire game – 17-year-old Curtis Jones was making his full debut alongside him in midfield, and will perhaps have felt isolated and let down by the 23-year-old.
As always, however, he is a tidy player who rarely misplaces a pass, as shown by his 91% success rate – however, most of them were ineffective, sideways balls which did little to threaten a comfortable Wolves backline.
As previously mentioned, Keita is a lively ball-winner on his day, but that usual aggressiveness and desire was lacking in quite evident fashion on Monday night, as he also failed to make a single interception.
To round off his dismal performance, the former RB Leipzig star was dispossessed twice throughout the match, and it is surprising that Klopp decided to leave him on the field for the entire 90 minutes.
It may take time for Liverpool fans to see the best of him but as things stand, Keita – who Transfermarkt value at £58.5million – is looking like a huge waste of money.