In 2018, Liverpool signed two new players that were going to strengthen the midfield. Both Fabinho and £48million signing (BBC) Keita have begun to make a legacy for themselves- but one only for the right reason.
Fabinho continues to make excellent progress, with Jamie Carragher calling him the best central midfielder in the Premier League. On the other hand, we have Naby Keita is becoming known as “the midfield Daniel Sturridge”. This a reference to the former Liverpool striker who was known to be the squad’s most injured player.
The 24-year-old has not had the best of luck since joining Liverpool, spending quite a bit of time on the sidelines. Don’t get me wrong, he is a great player when fully fit. However, Keita’s injuries have prevented him from reaching maximum potential. Whenever he gets into his stride, his progress is always cut short by his month long injuries. As of late, they have become even longer with the Guinean midfielder still recovering from a torn muscle bundle.
This had raised the question as to whether the former RB Leipzig player will make it into the starting team.
As of late, we have seen Klopp rotates the midfield with the same players. The starting combination Klopp seems to prefer is Henderson-Wijnaldum-Fabinho or Milner-Henderson-Fabinho. Sometimes he swaps one for the other and other times he brings on Oxlade-Chamberlain, but that’s about it.
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Shaqiri and Lallana have yet to have some serious game time either, so what are the odds of Keita getting game time over them?
Usually, if a Liverpool player is out for a long period of time then their future at the club is uncertain. Sturridge and Danny Ings used to play regular football before they became injured. After their recoveries, we used to see them prominently on the bench. They were luck to even get ten minutes of game time.
I think Keita’s got more chance of getting played compared to the other two strikers since they had to compete with Mane, Firmino and Salah. However, I do reckon he’s got to prove why he deserves to be Klopp’s number one choice as the other midfielders are just as strong competitors.