Liverpool should “get rid” of Naby Keita and accept that the midfielder will never reach his full potential at Anfield, one pundit believes.
The Reds made headlines when announcing a deal for the Guinea international in the summer of 2018. He had earned a reputation at RB Leipzig as one of the Bundesliga’s most explosive midfielders and arrived on Merseyside in 2019 to lots of excitement. However, he has largely failed to fit the bill.
Keita, who cost Liverpool a then-club-record £52million, has suffered with a host of niggling injury problems.
In fact, he missed Saturday’s clash with Southampton with what his club described as a “minor fitness concern”.
The fact that the issues have rarely amounted to serious concerns has raised frustrations at Anfield. As such, reports have suggested that Liverpool are willing to listen to offers for him this summer.
Noel Whelan agrees, albeit admitting that the Reds will not get their money back on the 26-year-old.
“When you’ve had a player that you’ve paid a lot of money for but not had the benefits of them through injury or whatever reason, then you’re better trying to offload the player now,” the pundit told Football Insider.
Klopp: Keita hurt hamstring, couldn't continue
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp talks about the injuries to Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri.
“He’s been a bigger player this season compared to previous years. You’ve got to take a hit, take a loss, there’s no doubt about that.
“He’s a good age and still has that reputation that means clubs will take a chance on him. It won’t be for what they bought him for but they will recoup some money back, that’s for sure.”
This season, Keita has only played 16 games, including 10 in the Premier League.
Liverpool should bin off Keita
“It’s the right time to get rid of a player who hasn’t contributed a full season,” Whelan added.
“There’s no point having players on big wages if they will only play 15 games a season. That’s not value for money.
“You have to be worried about the injury side as well.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another Liverpool player who has failed to ignite this season, playing only 15 times this term.
However, Klopp has insisted that he is counting on the former England international.