Naby Keita put in a performance to remember against Aston Villa as he brought back a world-class skill of his. It’s one we don’t see often enough.
Naby Keita is one of the more unique players at Liverpool but we saw why he’s considered an elite player against Aston Villa last night. It wasn’t his finest game – he’s had some incredible performances this season, after all – but it was one that showed off his greatest skill.
Keita completed six dribbles at Villa Park – twice as many as anyone else. In fact, Villa only completed 12 as an entire team. It was a display of the Guinean’s greatest skill as he consistently glided past players.
Liverpool’s no.8 attempted eight across the 90 minutes, completing 75%. It’s a fantastic stat and one we hope Keita pays attention to.
He hadn’t completed more than three in a game this season before Tuesday night. Now, that’s actually a large number for most players but not Keita. As we’ve pointed out before, he’s a world-class dribbler at his best and has been for years – we just don’t see it enough.
But in a season that’s got people excited about Keita, this could be an important step.
Naby Keita shines against Aston Villa
Keita’s ability to glide past players is one that Liverpool can use regularly. They come up against packed defences all the time, after all, but here’s a player who can move them forward almost effortlessly.
Six times against Villa, Keita took a defender out of the game to progress Liverpool. So few players can do that but Keita, at his best, absolutely can.
Jurgen Klopp already believes that Keita is having his best season for Liverpool. The fact he’s done that all while neglecting his greatest skill should tell everyone that he’s a special player.
Because if Liverpool can get Keita delivering performances like he did against Manchester United and Benfica on top of dribbling past players with ease, they’ll have another world-class talent in their team. Let’s hope this was the start of something special.