Naby Keita confirmed to Guineefoot that he is not 100% fit but will do his best to be able to turn out for Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations.
He said: “I’m not 100 per cent, but when I was [recovering] in Liverpool I had already started training with the ball. As I’m here now, I’m going to train with the team to see what’s next.
“To reassure the fans, my team-mates and the coach, I think I’ll be ready for the first match for Guinea. I am 100 per cent motivated.”
The midfielder arrived at Liverpool a year ago after being made to wait 12 months to get his move to the Premier League after the Reds agreed on a £48million fee with RB Leipzig in 2017.
The 24-year-old’s start to life under Jurgen Klopp was hampered by niggling injuries, with Keita suffering four separate injuries and missing a total of 98 days through injury.
By no means the best way to start your career at a new club after being made the most expensive midfielder in the club’s history and Klopp will be keen to see him kick on next season.
However, if Keita takes part in this year’s AFCON, there is the risk that he might suffer another injury or miss out on enjoying another full pre-season programme which could be crucial to sorting out his fitness.
There is a lot of competition at Anfield for places in central midfield and if Keita misses too many more games, he might find himself slipping down the pecking order before too long.