Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has received a big squad boost as midfielder Naby Keita and defender Joel Matip have returned to full fitness.
That’s according to The Athletic, who claim the Reds duo have taken advantage of the World Cup break, fighting their way back from injury.
Keita has largely been out with a hamstring injury which he sustained in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on August 15.
Matip, on the other hand, has been unavailable due to a calf injury, having last featured in the 3-2 loss to Arsenal on October 9.
However, The Athletic report that both players are back to full fitness, now ready for the Premier League season to resume.
The Guinea international hasn’t played since the Community Shield win over Manchester City in late July. Therefore, the 27-year-old faces a crunch period, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.
Keita faces crunch period
Having arrived at Anfield in 2018 in a deal worth £52.75m, Keita’s tenure at Liverpool has been plagued by injuries.
Despite glimpses of brilliance, the former RB Leipzig man has struggled to get a run of games together. As a result, Klopp has never been able to truly rely on the 27-year-old.
Having been unavailable since the summer, the Guinean has not had the chance to prove to the club whether he’s worth a contract extension.
Therefore, the remainder of season could prove to be make-or-break. If he does well, we could see him at Anfield for another couple of years.
Hailed by his manager as an ‘exceptional footballer’, Keita’s talent has never been in question.
On the other hand, however, if he struggles to find his form, it is highly possible that we see Keita leave the club on a free transfer this summer.