Liverpool host Tottenham this weekend in what is a must-win for the Reds if they are to maintain their advantage over Manchester City – the champions visit relegation candidates Fulham and, if they emerge victorious, will go one point above their title rivals with a game in hand.
Jurgen Klopp’s side ran out 2-1 winners at Wembley last time the two top-six clubs met and the former Borussia Dortmund boss should bring Naby Keita in from the cold to give his side that same drive down the middle – something they have missed recently.
The former RB Leipzig man was the driving force behind the Liverpool midfield in September and always looked likely to make something happen, surging forward and attempting to feed Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in behind wherever possible.
The Guinean set the tempo and was willing to recover possession, with his sliding block to deny a ball into the box epitomising his high-energy performance – this will be crucial against Spurs.
With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain still not fully recovered from a long-term injury suffered last April, the Reds lack a midfielder beyond Keita who is willing to break lines. You’d think, therefore, that the prospect of the number 8 leaving, regardless of his season being lacklustre as a whole, is ridiculous – but that is exactly what could happen this summer.
According to Teamtalk, the Reds are considering offloading the summer arrival already and are willing to take a £10m loss on the player, whom they signed for £48m, with a return to the Bundesliga on the cards.
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Liverpool might not be particularly impressed with the 24-year-old’s output since arriving at Anfield, but letting go a midfielder who is clearly playing well below his true potential seems very ill-advised. Regardless of whether Klopp starts the widely dubbed ‘flop’ on Sunday, his influence will be missed if he’s given the boot in the summer.