Jurgen Klopp has spent very wisely in the transfer market since taking over at Liverpool in October 2015.
The German has overseen the arrival of 13 signings at Anfield, totalling an outlay of roughly £400 million.
Given central midfielders constitute more than £150 million of those purchases, it’s no wonder the Reds’ engine room is a point of interest among football fans.
Klopp has brought in Naby Ketia, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Georginio Wijnaldum and Marko Grujic to add to a strong pre-existing contingent in the middle of the park.
The most recent of those arrivals, however, is yet to consistently show the quality expected of him.
Liverpool and Red Bull Leipzig agreed a £53 million deal for Keita 12 months ahead of its completion in the summer, which only added to the huge anticipation surrounding him.
The 23-year-old has so far made ten appearances for his new club with five coming from the bench.
What’s more, in the matches he has started, Keita has played out the full 90 minutes only twice - once in the League Cup and once in the Premier League.
Of course, he’s dealt with a handful of minor injury scares - but that hasn’t stopped his manager from issuing him with a subtle warning via the media.
Speaking to reporters on Friday ahead of the Reds’ trip to Watford, Klopp said, per the Times:
“The start was rather good, then average, that’s how it is. He played really well in the beginning.
“Now he had that game [for Guinea] on a football pitch that was not really a football pitch - I watched the game and I saw a yellow surface and a bouncy game!
“He came back tired. That’s how it is if you have these long flights and three stops on the way back. It’s not too cool.
“The day before he wasn’t training but yesterday he was in training and looked completely fine. It’s nothing to judge.
“Naby has to - and can - improve. He has to learn the language, there are a lot of things he can do, but it’s a long-term project.
“We have this wonderful player in our squad and we will use him - now, short-term, long-term, future. He is here exactly in the right place.”
While there’s no denying the enormous talent Keita possesses, the task of bringing out the best of him on a regular basis falls to Klopp.
That said, he can’t do it without the help of the player himself.