So much more to come from Keita
Naby Keita has yet to hit the heights expected of him at Liverpool and, once again, the £54million man is out injured.
The Guinea international came to Anfield with so much promise of what he could do after impressing with his efforts in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig.
Liverpool beat a number of interested parties to secure his services but Keita has not hit the ground running as he would have liked at Anfield after being on Merseyside for just over 12 months now.
With 25 appearances for the Reds last season, it looks a decent return, but only 16 of those were starts under manager Jurgen Klopp and he only chipped in with two goals.
As mentioned, injuries have taken their toll and disrupted the 24-year-old’s rhythm, which can be so important when moving to a competition as rigorous at the Premier League.
Keita missed out on the highlight of Liverpool’s season last term in the Champions League final as the Reds beat Tottenham to be crowned champions of Europe for the sixth time in their history. The midfielder suffered an adductor injury in the semi against Barcelona and was forced to miss the run-in.
Now the midfielder has picked up another injury as he suffered a muscle strain leading up to Liverpool’s Super Cup victory over Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Speaking about Keita’s latest setback, Klopp was rather vague on when the Reds supporters can see the midfielder back playing.
“[He is] not available,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton in the Premier League.
“It’s a muscle thing and we don’t know exactly how long it will take. But he’s not available.”
Of course, this will be further frustration for Keita but also for Klopp, who will know full well what an asset the player can be if he remains fit.
As mentioned, at just 24, there is plenty of time for Keita to turn things around at Liverpool and make himself a regular in the starting line-up.
Looking at the midfield that started the Champions League final last season, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum were all in the XI against Spurs.
Keita again found himself down the pecking order for the opening game of this season in the Premier League as he was an unused substitute, left on the bench for the home clash with newly-promoted Norwich.
Opportunities will come down the line for Keita when he returns to fitness but this does feel like an important season for the player.
And, sadly, if he continues going down the same path of injuries and inconsistent form, his time on Merseyside could be short-lived.