Leicester City keen on "world class" Liverpool midfielder

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers

Football Insider has revealed that Leicester are monitoring Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita as the summer transfer window approaches.

What is the latest transfer news involving Keita?

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is believed to be a fan of Keita's, particularly appreciating his energy and quality in possession.

If the opportunity presents itself, it is understood that Leicester would be keen to bring the 26-year-old over to the King Power Stadium.

How much is Keita worth and when does his contract expire?

Three years ago, Keita arrived at Anfield from RB Leipzig in a deal worth £52.5m. However, his value has dropped dramatically since then.

Liverpool currently rate the Guinea international at £30m. Keita has two years remaining on his contract with the Reds.

What are Keita's stats this season?

Keita's numbers this term do not make for pleasant reading. Once again, his campaign has been disrupted by injuries, which has seen him limited to just 10 league appearances.

According to WhoScored, he has failed to register a goal or an assist in those matches, and has only managed six key passes in the top-flight in 2020/21.

This has seen him receive an average game rating of 6.59 - comfortably below Leicester midfielders Wilfred Ndidi (7.31), James Maddison (7.11) and Youri Tielemans (7.09).

What has van Dijk said about Keita?

Keita's progress may have been curtailed due to injuries, but his talent has not gone unnoticed by his teammates.

Ahead of the current season, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was full of praise for the midfielder.

He told Liverpool's official website: “Naby is a fantastic guy, he works so hard and he is an outstanding football player. We see it week in and week out. He has unfortunately been unlucky with some injuries, but hopefully he can stay fully fit for the next season.

“I think he is world-class, if I’m absolutely honest. I see all the moments when he has the ball, the smart moves, the smart intelligence. It’s just incredible to see and I’m very happy for him.”

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Should Rodgers go for McGregor or Keita?

Over the weekend, reports emerged linking Leicester with a move for Celtic's Callum McGregor.

Now they are appearing to target Keita, so it seems fairly clear that Rodgers wants to bolster his midfield options this summer.

He may be left with the conundrum of having to choose either McGregor or Keita, as it seems unlikely that Leicester will bring in two box-to-box midfielders in the same transfer window when they already have Youri Tielemans. 

In any case, every manager will have an idea of which players they want most for each position, and when it comes to midfield recruitment, Rodgers simply has to prioritise McGregor over Keita.

Keita may have more natural talent, and is highly regarded by one of the best defenders in the world in van Dijk, but he just cannot seem to stay fit. 

In his time at Liverpool, he has missed over 50 games through fitness issues in less than three seasons. He simply cannot be relied upon to play matches on a consistent basis.

Meanwhile, McGregor has not missed a league game this year and can be trusted by Rodgers, who has worked with him before, to be fit and available week after week.

He also brings plenty of quality to the table, having been directly involved in 10 goals in the SPL for Celtic in 2020/21.

Based on fitness, form and familiarity, Leicester would be better off pursuing him rather than going after the injury-prone Keita.

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