Liverpool’s Naby Keita has been named on the preliminary shortlist for the 2022 African Footballer of the Year.
The nominees were announced on Thursday by the Confederation of African Football on Twitter. The Liverpool star has been nominated for the award after helping The Reds to a League Cup and FA Cup double.
Keita also starred for his country at the African Cup of Nations in January, as Guinea made it to the knockout rounds.
Mohamed Salah was once again nominated for the award, along with former Liverpool star Sadio Mane.
Keita gets reward for fine season
This is good recognition for Keita. He may not have fully won over sections of the Liverpool fanbase, but he was quietly excellent last season.
His 40 appearances in 2021/22 represented the most of his career at Anfield. Keita also started in both the League Cup and FA Cup finals.
Had it not been for a late fitness test for Thiago Alcantara, the Guinean would also have began the Champions League final last month.
Instead, Keita came off the bench in Paris. Unfortunately for him, he provided one of the lasting images of the game for Liverpool fans. His wild shot from outside the box neatly summed up the night for The Reds.
On the back of that, perhaps conversations about whether Keita is good enough for Liverpool will re-emerge. Jamie Carragher is one who has previously claimed to have been never ‘fully convinced’ by the 28-year-old since his £48m move.
Despite those lingering doubts though, Naby looks set to sign a contract extension. After a good year injury free, more will be expected if he can stay off the treatment table next season.