Liverpool faced Man United on Sunday. The Reds went into the game five points clear and finished six points adrift at the top of the table. The hosts on the other hand remain just two points above the relegation zone. The match finished 1-1 thanks to a despicable refereeing performance from Martin Atkinson. The Reds dominated the game but a series of officiating errors kept the Reds from ever finding a rhythm. Eventually Jürgen Klopp looked to his bench, Naby Keita came on and changed the game for Liverpool, he needs to start in future.
When the Guinean midfielder agreed his move from RB Leipzig, he was a club record signing for the Reds, costing the club an initial £48m. He has struggled to hold down a place in the side due to a series of injuries but has showed glimpses of brilliance when he has managed to get on the pitch. Keita hadn’t played in the Premier League this season until he game on for the last 10 minutes against Man United. When he did come on, Naby Keita changed the game showed that he needs to start going forward.
The Reds lacked a creative spark when in possession before Naby entered the fray. Gini Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson started the game in centre midfield, the latter was substituted for Adam Lallana before the former gave way to Naby Keita. Despite being a regular goalscorer for the Netherlands, Wijnaldum is shackled in his role with the Reds, rarely looking to burst into the box, though he did show flashes of intent early in the first half.
When Keita came on the Reds began looking threatening in possession. He is always looking to drive forward with the ball and rarely passes backwards. He even had the awareness to delay his pass to Andy Robertson in order to maximise the space Robbo had to deliver the cross which Adam Lallana converted for the equaliser. With the Liverpool midfield looking impotent at best this season, fatally so on Sunday, we need players like the Guinean to step into the side and drive us forward. Naby Keita changed the game, he simply has to start going forward.