Naby KEITA: 2020/21

sometimes he’s good, sometimes he fosters a new appreciation for gini’s abundance of caution

if i had to play him and had everyone available i think i’d try thiago & hendo in a ~double pivot behind him with jota/mo/sadio up front. he can’t replicate hendo’s running but i’m not as sure that he can’t replicate firmino’s pressing & ball-winning

Tackles made by ketia this season …0

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Who cares,never heard of him.


Tackling is a dying art these days. Opposing players go down as if they’ve been shot for the slightest touch and in every game we see players feigning injury to get people booked or sent off. So the modern day player knows, a slightly mistimed tackle will land them in trouble. But Keita takes it to the extreme by not attempting any tackles.


Ok, I think we all know there are stats … and then there are stats. Honestly if you’re looking to build someone up, you can find stats to do so. If you’re trying to tear someone down, you can find stats for that. If you’re really good, you can use the same stat for each.

Sometimes you just have to look and see how the person is performing and contributing.

For me, I’m still not convinced Keita is a top player for this Liverpool team. I just don’t think we play the way that allows him to use his best skills and attributes to take over games. He’s also not good enough that we would change our playing style just to suit him.

Edited to add: I know there are many fans of Liverpool that are huge supporters of Naby. I’m not knocking him at all talent wise. I think Naby has great talent, but I’m not sure it’s able to fully come forward playing at Liverpool - just different styles.

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Well you didn’t, but stats were brought to put down his performance with the zero tackles this season etc. Works both ways.

And yes, sort of agree that what we have been having in midfield is more work horses, players who’ll allow our full backs to create. We have been crying for creativity from midfield, and Naby brings that.

The system is evolving and it’ll take time, so am personally patient that Klopp will bring out the best in Naby. Am more concerned about his injuries than anything else, that’s the only thing that can stop him becoming a mainstay in our midfield.

I am one of those who recognizes how good Keita was in RB and how good he could be for us. But the reality as of now, is he is nothing near that for us.

But the problem is we have to realize that Gini plus Hendo plus Fabinho was the perfectly balanced trio for us. Replacing anyone of them with Keita throws this balance off because Keita is essentially a different player from any of the trio. In my opinion, if Keita plays, Hendo might provide a better foil then Gini as Gini can disappear at times but a player like Hendo can cover better in terms of positioning and tactically more sound.

So I am sure Klopp has a plan and patience to find that balance with Keita in the team but Keita has to find his place quick because when Klopp decides its no longer working, he will just ruthlessly move on to next options as he had shown before


Unlike Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum (Lallana and Ox) Coutinho was no workhorse and he had zero contribution to our defence. His departure played a big part in stabilizing our midfield and backline (main reason was of course the arrival of VvD, Alisson and Robertson).

Thiago with the ball is probably the best in the world in terms of being resistant to being pressed. Keita is good at intercepting (even if he is not a good tackler).

But both Thiago and Keita are no workhorses.

Will be interesting to see how that looks when they play together but I am expecting us to be more vulnerable at the back - kind of when Coutinho was here.


I would add that it’s not only the work rate there is also the positioning.
Coutinho was useless at this however his 1st season with us he had a termendous nack for nicking the ball off opposition players because he was prepared to work (unfortuneately he lost this as the seasons passed).
Keita positionnally isn’t bad and at times is good however yes sometimes he seems to ‘forget’ to move it’s like an after thought.
I think Thiago’s experience should help him out here.
It really is where Hendo excells he can put himself in positions that cover the possibilities of 3 players and as soon as he sees what’s up he is off. Not a great tackler but does he hassle (phenomenal work rate).
I think Fabinho has to be mentionned as well. He makes a lot of mistakes but has this inspector gadget side which means if his mistake isn’t too great he can get a foot in, a great tackler. His major problem is an inflexible side where he sticks just unfront of the 2 CBs stubbornly. It strange that he is touted as a CB for our future but if Gomez steps up he doesn’t slot in to cover but remains stubbornly in his DM position waiting for a miracle.
So yes Klopp has to be wary of the balance and that’s what we didn’t get against AV. Keita wasn’t thinking, Wijnaldum as usual was reacting and not in position and Fabinho was Fabinho (as above) all were pressing up far too eagerly (as was Gomez).


I think he improved since the end of last season, but not that much. It’s why I didn’t want to comment much since the start of this season. I think some comments were more like in the hope that something seriously good starts happening with him. But I’m still not seeing/feeling it, some improvement is clear, but not that much. I’m just hoping he can put a few good months together without any issues. When Hendo and Thiago are back though (possibly soon after this international break), he might find it more difficult to stay in the team. I could see Gini flipping to that RCM role soon, we often need better balance there between Trent and Salah. Stay fit, keep learning, watch a bit what Thiag does, be more consistent in doing the basics right.


When I 1st saw him in a Liverpool shirt I thought he was a flop and it has taken him and me a long time to ‘correct’ that. For me now in an attacking role he wins tha shirt if he improves defensively I think he’s a shoe in at LCM. For me as Salah plays on the right the only serious candidate to help out Trent and Gomez is Hendo, Wijnaldum as his cover or maybe Milner better?
The toss up is Fabinho or Thiago at DM i have no idea yet but they seem as contrasted as Alonso and Mascherano. If Thiago is positionally sound (as both Alonso and Mascherano where) then I guess it should be him.


Is this the same @Flobs of TIA forums or someone else,i’m confused.


I can only see Keita becoming a success story at Liverpool if he overcomes his injury issues and becomes a replacement for the player Wijnaldum has been over the past three years. I don’t expect him to trouble the scoreline, I don’t expect him to get a lot of assists, at least not anymore, but I do expect him to harass the opposition, be confident in possession, maybe get a few more “second assists” (like at Old Trafford last season, for example). It took me a while to understand that Wijnaldum won’t become the goalscoring midfielder I thought the team was in desperate need of, something similar goes for Keita as well.

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It sure is, just exercising my right to a double personality like I did on TIA though obviously with a lot less success. :smiley:
If you mean my slight changes of heart over Keita, well that was in process on TIA he was so damn awful in his 1st matches for us I was at a loss.
As for Wijnaldum I have always appreciated certain aspects of his game however I have never thought he is good enough for LFC and still don’t, his lack of; positional sense, reading of the game, physical committement and others has always dissappointed me and always will (I don’t think it helped him getting shoed back in DM role helped him though the way he kept at it is/was commendable). I just gave up trying to explain my position over this on TIA as noone seemed to read what I wrote. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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So back to being a flop again as per @Flobs :stuck_out_tongue:


Absolutely the system is evolving, but I don’t think we’re ever going to see the version of Naby that people expected when we saw him at Leipzig. Be it the injuries or the system or whatever, I just don’t see that player that we all saw in Leipzig.

I think he’ll probably choose to move elsewhere in 2 years time (just a feeling). I just hope he and Liverpool have a lot of successes before that happens.

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I agree with you on pretty much everything.
Funny thing about Wijnaldum, is that he IS the goalscoring midfielder when he plays for The Netherlands - or at least was during 2019. He has that ability, but he isn’t used in that role at Liverpool… unless of course you count keeping him on the bench to start a Champions League game against Barcelona - then of course he’s going to score 2 in only a couple minutes.

I think Keita could be very similar to “that” version of Wijnaldum - but he’s less adaptable to the what Liverpool needs than Gini has been.

Keita isnt up to the mark for me, and he isnt going to be, considering we are entering his third season. This is the TC’s only flop under Klopp. Was the main culprit in the Villa debacle, along with a few others.

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