Naby Keita could make his Liverpool return against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup fourth-round clash on Sunday according to Jurgen Klopp.
Keita, 24, has been absent from the first-team since sustaining a groin injury during the warm-up at home to Sheffield United on January 2.
The Guinean midfielder has only started two Premier League fixtures for the Reds this season following another stop-start-campaign for the former RB Leipzig star. Keita did find a bit of form back in December following an impressive run of three goals in six appearances.
Klopp confirmed in his Friday afternoon press conference that Keita will be assessed before Liverpool’s trip to Shropshire at the weekend.
He said [ECHO]: “Naby, we will have to see. I think from my information is that he will be part of training today, and then we have to see
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“It isn’t too long (being back) but we will have to see how he looks.”
“The boys who didn’t play at Wolves longer than a half will today have a very important, intense session. We’re two days before the game so it’s always an intense session, we will see if he can be a part of that completely.
“If so, then he will be an option.”
The German manager also confirmed that both James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri will be unavailable at the weekend.
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The more likely scenario will be that Keita will feature against West Ham next week as opposed to Shrewsbury on Sunday. He missed the FA Cup victory against Everton which will likely mean Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Adam Lallana should complete the midfield trio against the Shrews.
It’s fair to say that Keita still remains an ambiguous player amongst Liverpool supporters. The former Salzburg playmaker has yet to hit a sustained run of form since his £58 million [BBC Sport] move from Leipzig in 2018.
Keita is arguably the only big-money signing under Klopp still yet to prove the justification of his price-tag. He has shown glimpses in cameos but a player of his calibre should have had a greater influence on the Reds by now.
However, injuries have taken their toll and once again we will hope Keita can hit the ground running and get some consistency back under his belt.