Jurgen Klopp is prepared to sell Naby Keita this summer, according to reports. It would be arguably the bravest move of his Liverpool career.
This comes from the Sunday World. They claim that Liverpool could sell Naby Keita in order to raise funds this summer.
It would be a seismic move from Klopp and Liverpool. They don’t sell players lightly, especially ones they signed for £53m.
Liverpool to sell Naby Keita?
Keita was supposed to arrive at Liverpool as the star in their midfield. Virgil van Dijk joined the previous January as the defensive lynchpin, Alisson was there as the elite goalkeeper and the front-three were the front-three.
Keita was to make midfield his own after starring for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga. We didn’t really think it could go wrong.
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Such was the faith in Keita, in fact, that Klopp through him into his starting XI straight away. That’s incredibly rare.
Fabinho, who joined the same summer, took two months to get a start. And even then, it was in a 4-2-3-1 as Klopp didn’t appear to trust him in the 4-3-3.
It wouldn’t be until March that Fabinho started a big game in Liverpool’s usual formation.
But nearly three years later, Fabinho is the success story whereas Keita just hasn’t really got going. Injuries frequently cripple his momentum and it’s tough to see how he really fits in.
We never saw that coming.
And now it appears that Liverpool may be ready to give up on Keita. Not that it means they want to.
But the Reds face a huge summer where they need to boost their defence, replace Gini Wijnaldum, and inject some more goals into the attack. We’re not sure they have the money for all of that.
Selling is the best way to get that cash and Keita may be their most sell-able asset who isn’t a first-XI fixture. But it would still be an enormous call.
We haven’t seen Liverpool give up on a big signing since Klopp joined. Everyone has consistently had their place.
But what makes this one so notable is that Klopp rates Keita very, very highly. Or at least, he did before the player joined.
“[Keita] is the best player in the [Bundesliga],” Klopp said after Liverpool agreed a deal in advance to sign him. “I’d have preferred him this season!”
“Last year together with Thiago Alcantara they were the best in the league.”
This would be a huge move, then. It’s Liverpool changing their minds, going back on their judgement, and trusting that they can get the next one right.
We imagine any decision will ultimately come down to the price Liverpool can fetch. Any sale, though, is an admittance that this one just didn’t work out.