Liverpool legend John Aldridge has claimed that summer signing Naby Keita ‘looks a little bit lost’ amid a dip in form which has seen him in and out of the starting line up.
The Guinea international looked in brilliant form in pre-season following his £56million move from RB Leipzig, but the 23-year-old has found himself on the bench a few times in recent matches.
Aldridge has now highlighted Keita’s lack of impact as a concern for manager Jurgen Klopp, and admitted that the £120,000-a-week midfielder [Total Sportek] has not yet met expectations.
In his column for the Liverpool Echo, he said: “There’s plenty of food for thought for Klopp when it comes to the midfield right now. I think Naby Keita looks a little bit lost at the moment after some promising early signs.
“We expected a little bit more from him but he needs to settle into English football and it might take him a little bit more time than we thought.”
It is hard to argue with Aldridge’s assessment of the situation with regards to Keita here. Many expected the impressive 23-year-old to walk straight into the starting XI and keep his place for the whole season, and while he did do the former, the latter has evaded him. The bite in tackles and the crisp passing he showcased in pre-season is nowhere to be seen, and it is no surprise that Klopp has opted for his more experienced players in recent matches. As Aldridge points out, Keita may just need a bit more time to settle at the club, with this being his first few months in England. It is also easy to forget how young the enforcer is, with his brilliant form for Leipzig over the past two seasons belying the fact that he is just 23 years old. In time he will no doubt come good, but at the moment it does look as though he is a bit lost in that midfield.