As reported by The Mirror, Naby Keita has been named in Guinea’s Africa Cup of Nations squad for the upcoming tournament on June 21st.
Well, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had previously stated that the former RB Leipzig man would be out for around two months after injuring his groin against Barcelona; the German made this assessment on 3rd May.
So, with AFCON beginning roughly six weeks after Keita’s injury, it does seem as if the 24-year-old would be rushing back if he featured at the competition with his country.
There was previously some choice words from the Guinea Football Federation president Antonio Souare, who felt Liverpool had made the injury sound worse than it was.
Luis Suarez certainly had no qualms about celebrating against his former employers in the video below…
He said: “The adductors [injury] is two to three weeks of unavailability. The Liverpool coach has to pull himself together, let the doctors do their job.
“Naby Keita belongs to a state before belonging to Liverpool. I remind the Liverpool coach a little bit of the rules if he does not know it.”
Liverpool fans will be extremely annoyed upon hearing the news that their £52.75m man has been included in Guinea’s squad.
Keita has endured a stop-start debut season at Anfield due to a number of niggling injuries, and the supporters would’ve hoped to see their No.8 get a full pre-season under his belt before being raring to go for the 2019/20 campaign.
However, his inclusion in Guinea’s AFCON squad will disrupt that.
Liverpool have already confirmed their pre-season fixtures for the summer, with their tour of the US starting on 19th July – the exact date that AFCON ends.
From then on, Keita will most likely be granted an extended holiday due to his international commitments, whilst his pre-season will also be behind schedule as a result.
For the fans who had hoped to see the talented attacking midfielder knuckle down and kick on in his second season at the club, you may have to be patient with the midfielder after a busy summer for himself personally.