Naby Keita has been an enigma since joining Liverpool. The Guinean midfielder was an exciting signing for Jürgen Klopp but a series of injuries has made it difficult for him to cement a place in the side.
Keeping Keita fit could be key to Liverpool challenging for the title this season.
With the Liverpool midfield not enjoying the most creative of starts, a spark is needed from somewhere. Keita can provide that spark, provided he is used correctly. Since arriving at Anfield he has shown glimpses of why the Reds signed him. He has highlighted what Liverpool have been lacking in midfield: a player willing to beat his man.
When teams are sitting deep against Liverpool, as they often do, it takes a midfielder with flair to help break the deadlock. The energetic midfielder has demonstrated he is willing to ghost past people and quicken the pace when needed. The only issue has had is persistent injury preventing him from getting a run of games.
The best case in point for how key the club record signing could be is Liverpool’s 3-0 win against Bournemouth last season. Keita had his best game for the Reds, with 120 touches and a 91% pass accuracy – he was unplayable. When deployed alongside the reliable Fabinho and industrious Gini Wijnaldum, the Guinean has freedom to make defence splitting runs. It is these defence splitting breaks Liverpool signed him for and need him for. If we can keep Keita fit alongside Fabinho and Wijnaldum – our midfield will be at their creative best.