Liverpool.com journalist Emmet Gates believes that Naby Keita’s injury problems have consistently held him back during his Reds career so far.
The Guinea international arrived at Anfield for £54m in 2018, but has not had the desired impact on Merseyside.
What’s the latest news involving Keita?
The 26-year-old missed the side’s previous league fixture against Brentford having gone off injured earlier in the week with a foot problem that he sustained when kicking the turf at Norwich in the Carabao Cup.
Luckily, it was only a minor setback, and he could now be in contention for a starting berth in the team following the international break.
What has Gates said about Keita?
Gates feels that Keita has struggled to find his best form on a regular basis since he joined Liverpool due to the injuries that he has suffered over the past few years. He has claimed that just as the midfielder looks to be showing his true potential, he picks up another knock that puts him right back to square one.
“It seems like you sneeze on him and he’s out for three or four games, and he’s out at the moment. And Naby Keita had actually started the season pretty well. He started in the opening two games, he scored that really good volley against Crystal Palace, and he was starting to kind of get some consistency together.
“Naby Keita is one of those players where he needs a string of games to get into a rhythm, find some consistency, but the problem is usually he plays three or four games and then he gets injured. And then he finds it difficult to get back into the rhythm once he returns.”
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Will Keita ever realise his potential at Liverpool?
Keita is clearly talented, and has shown glimpses of his quality over the past three seasons to prove that Liverpool are not wasting their time by sticking with him.
Yet this feels like a very important year for him. The £120,000-a-week star has played just 28 Premier League matches in his last two full seasons at the club, and has not been able to influence games as much as he would like.
If he can somehow stay injury-free for the rest of the campaign, he could finally put together a run of performances that demonstrate exactly what all the fuss is about. On the flip side, if he picks up another injury this year, Liverpool may finally lose patience with him and look to offload him next summer.