Naby Keïta is being heavily linked with a big-money move to Liverpool FC this summer and it’s highly unsurprising, according to Keith Costigan.
Bundesliga commentator Keith Costigan – who commentated on numerous RB Leipzig games over the course of the 2016/17 season – has spoken to This Is Anfield and given his opinion on Liverpool target Naby Keïta.
Spoiler alert; it’s made me even more excited about the thought of potentially signing him.
Costigan explains that while there are similarities between Keïta and Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, the Guinean is not a holding player but more of a box-to-box midfielder who is far better going forward than the Frenchman.
“He’s sensational,” Costigan told TIA. “His movement is great and his first touch. When he plays a pass – he’s not a 6, he doesn’t sit in front of the back four – he loves to get forward.”
Costigan continued, “Sometimes you say when players do that you lose your shape, but he has so much energy. He reminds me of Kante in terms of the output he does in running. He’ll get beyond the back four, he’ll make those runs, but he’ll also get back in defensively.”
Keïta’s attacking abilities were evident in last season’s Bundesliga campaign when he contributed 8 goals and 8 assists to a Leipzig side that surprised everybody with a second-placed finish.
Encouragingly, his success came while playing in a fast-paced, high-pressure system. Sound familiar?
“He’s played in a system that’s, basically, a clone of what Klopp did at Dortmund and does at Liverpool; a high pressing system. He’s the perfect fit for Klopp’s Liverpool; good energy, much better going forward than Kante, he’ll get goals as well.”
Keïta won’t come cheap – he’s currently commanding a £70.4m price tag – but when you hear a ringing endorsement like that from a man who has watched him play week in, week out, you can’t help but feel he’d be worth it.
At just 22 years old, there’s also the potential for the Guinean to just continue to get better and better.