Liverpool were finally given a major boost on the injury front as Naby Keita returned to training to cast a shade of light during a week that saw arguably the club’s most significant injury blow of the Premier League era.
Keita, 25, was back at Melwood after receiving a negative COVID-19 test result and was cleared to begin training and playing again, with Klopp hopeful the No.8 can feature in Amsterdam.
The Guinean missed Liverpool’s enthralling Merseyside derby draw at the weekend but could return to the starting XI against Ajax following the fitness uncertainty surrounding Thiago Alcantara.
Keita shared an image on his Instagram page back amongst the Melwood set up on Monday afternoon.
What is expected of Keita?
Keita will have an added responsibility to perform as Liverpool look to cope without the services of their irreplaceable central defensive figure Virgil van Dijk.
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The Netherlands captain is unlikely to feature again this season with Van Dijk set to undergo surgery following an ACL injury against Everton at the weekend.
Keita prior to missing out against Everton due to COVID, had been an ever-present figure in Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice XI having started in six consecutive league matches for the Reds – his best return since joining in 2018.
If Liverpool are to fill the gargantuan void left in the absence of Van Dijk, every Liverpool player is going to have to up their game by at least 10 per cent and Keita could become a key asset for Klopp.
Fabinho is expected to feature more regularly at in defence which places a greater onus for the available midfielders to deliver as Van Dijk’s injury effectively takes two important players out of two key positions.
Liverpool will be forced to adjust without Van Dijk as soon as Wednesday evening when they begin their Champions League campaign in the capital of the Dutchman’s home country.