IN August the information that Liverpool had put in place a deal to signal highly-rated Guinean midfielder Naby Keita for subsequent season was rightly greeted with pleasure from Reds followers.
The box-to-box dynamo was excellent in RB Leipzig’s rise to second place within the Bundesliga final time period and possesses a number of qualities that may immediately enhance Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.
Nevertheless, any Liverpool supporters paying shut consideration to Keita’s latest shows is likely to be just a little involved about his deteriorating disciplinary report, with the 22-year-old having seen pink thrice in his final seven outings for membership and nation.
Our pals at Soccer Whispers have taken a have a look at Keita’s dismissals and total type this time period to see whether or not Liverpool must be apprehensive concerning the man who’ll be shifting to Anfield subsequent summer season.
Though the very fact they’re backed by the riches of an vitality drink company, and have circumvented German soccer’s 50+1 rule aimed toward stopping golf equipment being owned outright by any single entity, which has made them “probably the most hate membership in Germany”, it was inconceivable to not admire the soccer performed by RB Leipzig final season.
Of their first ever marketing campaign within the Bundesliga, the East German outfit have been organised, hard-working and environment friendly, but additionally fearless, expressive and daring, taking up the established elite of the division and greater than holding their very own.
On the coronary heart of the spectacular younger facet was Keita, the midfield engine who would break up opposition assaults along with his positional consciousness, anticipation and bodily power, and burst ahead to create and rating targets on the different finish.
Keita’s type was so spectacular that Liverpool have been satisfied to supply club-record bids for the 22-year-old over the summer season – with experiences suggesting their presents reached as a lot as £65million – in an try and prise the younger midfielder away from the Pink Bull Area.
KEITSURFING Liverpool’s probabilities of pulling off January deal for Naby Keita are slim
Leipzig, with a maiden Champions League marketing campaign on the horizon, resisted, even supposing a £48million launch clause, energetic subsequent summer season, might’ve seen them lose the participant for lower than Liverpool’s provide on the finish of the season.
In the long run, a compromise was reached: Liverpool agreed to pay Keita’s clause with a premium on high to make sure they get their man for subsequent season earlier than different events – Bayern Munich and Barcelona mentioned to be amongst them – might swoop to contest the transfer.
Savvy enterprise from each golf equipment, however Keita’s latest antics could have raised eyebrows on Merseyside, with the soon-to-be-Reds star displaying an alarming lack of self-discipline for each membership and nation.
Three pink playing cards within the house of 39 days have introduced the younger midfielder’s temperament into query.
The primary, picked up in a September conflict towards Borussia Monchengladbach, was eerily harking back to Sadio Mane’s sending off on the Etihad the identical month, as Keita’s raised boot collided with the top of an opponent, leading to a straight pink card.
Then three weeks later whereas on worldwide obligation with Guinea, Keita was despatched off within the closing levels of his nation’s Four-1 defeat to Tunisia – he had scored his facet’s solely objective – when his raised arm linked with the face of Mohamed Amine Ben Amor.
His newest dismissal got here on Wednesday evening as Leipzig took on Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich within the DFB Pokal. Already cautioned, Keita picked up a second yellow for cynically pulling again Robert Lewandowski because the Polish ahead threatened to interrupt away. Jupp Heynckes’ facet went on to win on penalties.
Three pink playing cards in little over a month is a poor displaying for Keita, however it could be unsuitable to learn an excessive amount of into his latest disciplinary points. All three reds have been vastly completely different and never essentially indicative of any extended drawback.
In the meantime, Keita’s type has been glorious. He managed eight targets and 7 assists within the Bundesliga final time period, and his return to this point of 1 apiece suggests he may not match that tally in 2017/18. However the summer season additions of proficient 20-year-old French striker Jean-Kevin Augustin from Paris Saint-Germain and Portuguese winger Bruma from Galatasaray have meant that Keita’s position has modified barely, making him much less of a direct objective menace.
He’s making extra passes per sport this season that he was in 2016/17 (49.three to 45.9), at the next accuracy (82.1 per cent to 81.eight per cent), and extra key passes per sport (1.5 to 1.three). Whereas defensively he’s making extra tackles per sport (three.7 to 2.6) and interceptions (three to 2.6) than final time period too.
Regarding his latest flurry of pink playing cards could also be, the indicators present that Keita is simply getting higher. Liverpool followers must be very excited.