Naby Keita still struggling to perform after West Ham nightmare

Interest from Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and presumably a whole host of other top European clubs, but a fee of around £48m helped Liverpool secure their man – Naby Keita.

The Guinean only arrived in the summer, despite a deal being completed for him back in 2017 as Liverpool fans were made to wait for a player ripping up the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig; the main redeeming factor was that Keita’s talents were so elite, that he was well worth the wait.

Jurgen Klopp often opts to bed his new men in slowly, as he did with the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andrew Robertson and Fabinho, allowing them to acclimatise before thrusting them into the spotlight.

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His treatment of Keita was slightly different, however, as he started the 23-year-old in each of the Reds’ first three games of the Premier League season – it was only after witnessing how little an impact Keita was making that Klopp limited his involvement.

You would think that, by February, Keita would’ve settled fully, but his performance in the 1-1 draw against West Ham at the London Stadium proved that he is still struggling in English football.

In Germany, Keita looked fearless, powerful and relentless, combining a unique blend of expert dribbling skills with good upper body strength to drive through defences, but he looks a shadow of himself in a Liverpool shirt.

Naby Keita stats vs West Ham

Keita only managed to have one shot on goal against West Ham, and whilst his love of dribbling still seems apparent with four successful attempts recorded, he is still looking weak on the ball and clumsy off it.

Liverpool’s diminutive midfielder was dispossessed by the Hammers three times throughout the match, and had one unsuccessful touch. Keita was also guilty of committing two fouls and struggled to get into the game on a night when the league leaders failed to extend their lead at the top.

There’s no doubting that Keita is a talented player, but he is running out of excuses and Liverpool need all hands on deck if they are to take Manchester City’s title from them.