Liverpool midfield duo Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara should be two of the first names on the teamsheet for Jurgen Klopp right now.
As per the Liverpool Echo, the Reds have won all seven games that Keita and Thiago have started together since the latter joined the club. Ignoring the fact that that’s an unbelievably low number after two-and-a-half years, it bodes well for Liverpool.
The reason for that number being as low as it is, is the fitness record of the two players. Also, Klopp has often preferred to play Jordan Henderson alongside Thiago and Fabinho. Keita hasn’t always had a look in.
But now, with Naby fit and playing well, and Thiago ticking along as usual, the Reds boss should turn to the Guinean.
Liverpool’s perfect partnership?
The latest of this pair’s seven starts together came mid-week against Wolves. Just like the previous six occasions they’d lined up in Liverpool’s midfield together, it ended in victory.
Not only that, but the Reds looked a great deal better than they have in recent weeks. Where before it had been porous and disjointed, the midfield looked secure and full of running.
Youngster Stefan Bajcetic has to take a lot of credit for that, too. But still only eighteen, he shouldn’t be expected to start in the biggest games for Liverpool.
One of those is coming up tomorrow. And if Klopp has designs on beating Chelsea at Anfield, Keita simply has to be starting.
Thiago is, by now, Liverpool’s most consistently picked midfielder. With Bajcetic showing Fabinho how it’s done at Molineux on Tuesday, the Brazilian’s place in the team is no longer a certainty.
Thiago’s is. But he can’t do it on his own. As good as the 31-year-old is, he’ll never be a box-to-box midfielder. Keita can be, though.
If the 27-year-old can continue this hot streak with Thiago, he could answer a little prayer from Liverpool fans everywhere.
A fit Naby Keita instantly makes this Reds midfield better. If he’s healthy for the rest of the season, he has to start. It may be a small sample size, but a record this good can’t be ignored. With Henderson and Fabinho struggling, Keita and Thiago are Klopp’s new go-to guys.