The 3rd most expensive signing in the history of Liverpool Football club (£54 million), Naby Keita is eager to leave the club this summer after being used very meagrely this season.
Keita, who joined the club 2 years ago, has suffered from several injuries during this period, while he has also been inconsistent when he has played. However, there now appears to be some sort of rift between Jurgen Klopp and the player, and Keita is now said to be eager to move in the summer, with La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, the preferred destination for the Guinean.
WHY DOES NABY KEITA WANT TO LEAVE LIVERPOOL?
As per Metro Sport, Naby Keita is said to be ‘unsettled‘ at Liverpool and wants to play more often. While the Guinean is currently out with injury, he was not selected by Jurgen Klopp even when he was available and fit.
Keita last played for the club in the first leg of Liverpool’s Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid in early April. Since then, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, and Georgino Wijnaldum have become mainstays in the squad, while even Curtis Jones, James Milner, and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain have been given a run-out at times, which has stopped Keita’s game-time to a considerable extent.
However, this has been Keita’s story throughout the season as he has only made 16 appearances across 4 competitions, including a measly 10 Premier League appearances. However, there can be no argument on Keita’s part for not being selected as the midfielder has contributed to zero goals this season.
Although Liverpool’s midfielders are not famous for their goal-scoring feats, this was a drop from Keita’s 7 goal involvements from last season, with his most famous goal coming against Chelsea in Liverpool’s last home game of the season as Liverpool triumphed 5-3 to lift the Premier League trophy at Anfield after 3o years. However, Keita is now 26 and will be hitting his footballing peak soon. The Guinean wants to play for a top club on a regular basis, courtesy of which he joined Liverpool from RB Leipzig in 2018. While Wijnaldum will be leaving in the summer, Jordan Henderson will return from injury, and Naby Keita will have to wait his chance again should he choose to stay next season.
Atletico Madrid, although not overly interested in Keita will be willing to bring the player to Spain for a subsidised fee. Naby Keita is pushing for a move to Atletico Madrid as he feels his style suits the way Atletico plays, and in all honesty, the Guinean could prove to be a great value addition to Atletico.
WHAT HAS JURGEN KLOPP SAID?
While there have been rumours of a rift between Keita and Jurgen Klopp, the German rubbished these rumours away. “Naby trains really well in the moment, I have to say,” the manager told reporters before the midweek game against Burnley.
“He trains really well, like a lot of other players, and looks really good in training. But this year now we need stability. We will make changes from time to time definitely, but it’s not like we pick now seven, eight, nine players to change and say, ‘Maybe we can win it like this.
Jurgen Klopp’s stance is clear on the subject as he is aware of the lack of quality on Liverpool’s bench. Although Liverpool have one of the strongest starting XI’s in world football, their bench strength is not as good as some of their other Premier League rivals. Thus, keeping Keita at the club is essential to Klopp’s plans for next season.
With the season coming to an end soon, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding various Liverpool players including Naby Keita, whose contract is set to expire in June 2023 and if Liverpool wants to cash in on the player, this summer will be the time to do so. Jurgen Klopp has never stopped a player from leaving the club and with the financial restrictions due to Covid-19, Liverpool might be tempted to sell Keita if Atletico Madrid does come in with a respectable offer.