Naby Keita's stats showcase he can take his game to the next level in 2020/21
Photo by Phil Noble/Pool via Getty Images

Naby Keita's stats showcase he can take his game to the next level in 2020/21

Liverpool ensured their Premier League title parade was celebrated in style after Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League champions played out one of the games of the season during their enthralling 5-3 victory against Chelsea.

The attacking intensity of the game blended alongside the defensive chaos amongst both teams made for a thrilling encounter as Liverpool registered their 31st victory of the season and ensured for a third consecutive season at Anfield, the Reds remain unbeaten in the league.

One of the most encouraging aspects during the win was the performance of Naby Keita.

The Guinean talisman produced one of his finest displays in a Liverpool shirt which culminated in one of the Reds’ goals of the season after Keita rocketed a 25-yard strike off the underside of the crossbar to open the scoring at Anfield.

Liverpool’s Guinean midfielder Naby Keita (C) watches his shot score the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on July 22, 2020. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A stunning performance

Keita was a calm and assured figure alongside Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum while his elegance and ability to beat players with the ball was so pleasing to see.

He was undoubtedly Liverpool’s finest midfielder to keep the Reds ticking from the moment he walked onto the Anfield turf until he was substituted just after the hour mark.

Keita’s goal was just a glimpse of what the former RB Leipzig starlet can offer us next season if he avoids injury and is handed a sustained run in the team.

His urgency on the ball to spread passes and link up with the front-three was a quality that we haven’t seen from Liverpool’s midfielders this season.

Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Wijnaldum offer the Reds a more solidified approach and give a more controlled and energy-driven midfield base while Keita has the flamboyance and aura to offer something just a little different to his teammates.

Boasting an impressive pass completion success of 88 per cent, Keita was constantly looking to get on the ball and was one of Liverpool’s most innovative players on the night.

Keita also showcased he can excel in the defensive aspects of his game after successfully making 4 tackles for Klopp’s team – only Fabinho was able to produce more.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JULY 22: Naby Keita of Liverpool celebrates with teammate Georginio Wijnaldum after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on July 22, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Phil Noble/Pool via Getty Images)

More to come

If this was an example of what to come next season then it was a timely performance as Keita’s influence showcased he could be like a new signing next season.

The 25-year-old has started just four matches since Project Restart but since the return of football he has undoubtedly been one of the most impressive performers for the English, European and world champions.

Also, considering he has only started eight PL fixtures all season, his return of four goals and three assists in all competitions doesn’t seem too shabby for a player who has had to combat a number of cruel injury setbacks since his £48 million (BBC) arrival in 2018.

The terrifying reality is that the best is still to come from Keita. He still remains one of the few enigma’s of this record-breaking squad and if luck is on his side he could be the perfect weapon next season to aid Liverpool’s Premier League title defence.

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