It’s never been more important for Naby Keita to finally find his place at Liverpool. The Guinean is yet to prove the success everyone hoped for.
Fabinho could well miss ‘at least’ the next three Liverpool games. That adds him to a defensive injury list that also includes Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.
Midfield, too, is short. Thiago has missed the last two and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t played this season. Fabinho, of course, has been in defence before his injury. James Milner surely can’t play every week at 34, placing a lot of pressure on Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum. The two split the 90 minutes against Midtjylland between them to keep fresh.
That captain has his own fitness troubles, in truth. He’s missed a chunk of this season already with an injury. And that brings us to Naby Keita, who needs to find his place at Liverpool.
Keita has never really found his place at the club since his £53m arrival. He’s always been on the fringes of the starting XI and while there have been times where he’s looked good, he can never keep it going.
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He isn’t, then, what you’d call a reliable player. Talented, yes, but not someone the team can trust to put in a strong 90 minutes. That really needs to change now.
The injuries and the compact schedule are going to put an immense amount of pressure on everyone left. Keita, as someone in his prime years and with plenty of experience, will need to step up.
Liverpool can’t afford passengers right now. They certainly can’t afford a senior player who still looks like they’re trying to find their feet. At that point, why not just use a kid in the rotation?
So there has never been a better – or more important – time for Keita to find his place at Liverpool. The Reds need him fully fit and firing and they need it ASAP.