Liverpool will look to bounce back from successive defeats when they travel to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday, and despite a below-par display in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night, manager Jurgen Klopp needs to keep the faith with Naby Keita in the middle of the park.
Injury issues and lack of form mean that the big-money signing has only featured for 741 minutes across 14 top-flight fixtures this season, and following four successive starts in December he has been an unused substitute for the Merseyside outfit’s previous three league games.
However, Klopp gave the 23-year-old a chance to stake his claim for a spot in the midfield at Molineux after the likes of James Milner and Jordan Henderson failed to impose themselves on the game during the defeat to Manchester City previously, but he failed to grasp the opportunity with both hands.
The game passed Keita by despite the fact that he was on the pitch for the full 90 minutes, and he was widely criticised by his own fans on Twitter for his performance in the west Midlands and subsequently for his form in general this term.
While it may seem like a big risk given Liverpool have potentially hit a blip in their bid to win their first ever Premier League win title, Klopp needs to continue to place his faith in the African midfielder if he wants him to come good for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign.
The 23-year-old may well be a player that needs consistent starts to find his rhythm and rediscover the brilliant displays he produced on a regular basis for RB Leipzig previously, and a match against the Seagulls could be the ideal opportunity.
Christ Hughton’s men are likely to want to attack Klopp’s side given they are at home, and that could give Keita more room to work with to try and make a big difference on the south coast.
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