Emile Heskey suggests £48m player needs replacing at Liverpool this summer
Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Emile Heskey suggests £48m player needs replacing at Liverpool this summer

Liverpool need to find a better fit for their midfield than Naby Keita during the summer transfer window.

That’s the view of former Reds striker Emile Heskey. Speaking to 90min this week, Heskey assessed what he thinks Liverpool need to do in terms of their midfield in the off-season. It doesn’t make good reading for Keita.

“The recruitment team will be looking at the ages of all the players in that midfield and assessing where they fit for the next two, five, ten years,” said the 45-year-old.

“They’ll be assessing what sort of football Liverpool need to play and who is out there that fits that style that they can bring in.

“I think Keita’s not fulfilled the potential that they thought he had, so you need to go out and get someone who can fit that bill right now. It’s going to be tough, they’re going to have to spend a bit of money.”

Liverpool search for Keita upgrade

With Naby’s time at Liverpool running into its final few months, it seems an appropriate time to review his Reds career. Although there have been plenty of over-the-top claims about how poor he’s been at Anfield, it hasn’t all be bad from the Guinean.

He’s been part of a team that has swept all before them. Although never the key player he was expected to be, Keita has more than played his part in that.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that in the absence of Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho respectively, Naby started both the Carabao and FA Cup final wins last season.

Had he started in Paris instead of a half-fit Thiago, who knows what may have happened in the Champions League final.

Nevertheless, by and large, Keita has not given Liverpool value for money on their £48m investment. Having signed him a year ahead of his eventual arrival, the 28-year-old has never really been worth the wait. But that doesn’t mean he’s been a failure either.

As Liverpool enter the market this summer, upgrading on Keita will be at the forefront of their minds. If they can get a robust player who’s fit from August to May every season then that will be a start. Quality-wise though, they’ll likely have to pay more than £48m to find a better fit.

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