Liverpool need to reinforce their midfield ranks after Philippe Coutinho left the club but Danny Murphy doesn’t believe that Naby Keita is the right fit.
Philippe Coutinho’s sale to Barcelona has seen the Reds’ pockets swell and supporters are desperate for Jurgen Klopp to reinvest in a player similar to the Brazilian.
Yet, despite the fact that Naby Keita will join Liverpool in the summer, former player Danny Murphy doesn’t believe the Guinean is the man to replace Coutinho or that he’s even much of an upgrade on Jordan Henderson.
According to the Liverpool ECHO, Danny Murphy said, “In the middle of midfield there’s a gaping hole there. He’s letting Can leave at the end of the season – he doesn’t fancy him, obviously, or he wants to leave, whatever.
“There’s kids coming in but I’m talking someone with power, presence, creativity. In Liverpool’s central midfield, in all the years I’ve watched them and played there, there’s always one you can hang your hat on in terms of being the leader.”
Although RB Leipzig are sure to put up a fight, Liverpool are going to try and sign Naby Keita early but Danny Murphy isn’t convinced he’s creative enough – but believes that Javier Mascherano would be a better fit…
“I’m not sure (on Keita), from what I’ve seen,” he added, speaking on Sky Sports‘ The Debate.
“Subconsciously you can look like you’ve downed tools when you’re protecting yourself a little bit, I wouldn’t judge him on that. I don’t know him well enough to say that. What I would say is he’s obviously very athletic, got a lot of qualities – a bit like Jordan Henderson has. Professional, good athlete, does his job really, really well.
“But he isn’t creative enough if you want to challenge for the title and the Champions League. Someone like Gerrard, Souness, Alonso, Mascherano – these type of players.”
Regardless of what Danny Murphy thinks, Keita is a superb creative outlet and will bring added mobility to Liverpool’s midfield and a driving presence on the counter-attack.
With Leipzig still having plenty to play for this season, it looks unlikely that they will let him leave early even if the Reds agree to pay a higher premium.