Virgil van Dijk was effusive in his praise of Naby Keita after the Guinean masterminded a win over Porto in the Champions League.
“He’s a fantastic player. We see it day in, day out,” the centre-half told Liverpoolfc.com. “I’m just very happy for him that he’s starting.
“To score two goals in the last two games is very pleasing for him, but very important for all of us. I’m very happy for him.”
His goal from outside the box might have taken a deflection on its way into the top corner but it seemed like a deserved moment of luck for a player that has been so short on good fortune this season.
Injuries and a general slow start to life at Liverpool has led to undue criticism of a very special player that just needed time to adjust.
Even if Keita hadn’t scored on Tuesday night, his overall game was on a different level to what the Reds have seen going forward in recent months.
If you had been on Twitter after full time, you would never have guessed that Liverpool have been devoid of creativity and invention in central areas this season.
Writers on this very website have campaigned for Jurgen Klopp to re-sign Philippe Coutinho or others of his ilk and it might have been a bit unfair on Keita, who is exactly the kind of player that has been missing this season.
With Keita seemingly set to feature consistently for the rest of the season, it’s time to sit back and enjoy watching a player that van Dijk has correctly praised.
The Guinean has the tools to help Liverpool in their title push and do so in a very fashionable way too!