Former Liverpool player Jason McAteer believes that Naby Keita’s struggles in the Premier League this season might have to do with a difference in intensity as opposed to the Bundesliga.
Jurgen Klopp finally got his man in the summer when he signed Keita from RB Leipzig for £52million a year after first making contact with the Bundesliga outfit but his adaptation to the Premier League hasn’t exactly gone as planned.
The Guinean was fantastic against West Ham on the opening day of the season, bursting through the Hammers’ midfield to allow Andy Robertson to tee Mohamed Salah up for his first goal of the season.
Since then, however, aside from the odd flash of his usual brilliance, Keita has been poor by his own standards. His passing has been wayward and he has lacked the energy that makes him so perfect for Jurgen Klopp.
Some fans believe that the reason for Keita’s slow start to life in England has to do with an increased level of defensive responsibility under Klopp and that he would benefit from a role focused more in the final third.
McAteer, however, believes the 23-year-old is struggling to get used to the intensity of the Premier League and that his performances have taken a knock as a result.
“I think Keita is slightly off it,” McAteer said. “I don’t think he’s adjusted to the Premier League.
“It might be that the intensity is a little bit too much.”