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Liverpool: Transfer Battle – Naby Keita vs Ibrahim Sangare

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Liverpool have been linked with a brutish Ivorian midfielder, but how does he compare to their current midfield grafter Naby Keita?

As reported by Dutch publication Voetball International, Liverpool have PSV midfielder Ibrahim Sangare firmly in their sights. It has been made clear that the 24-year-old can leave for €37.5m (£31m).

Considering Liverpool’s current injury crisis in the heart of their midfield, it would be unsurprising to see Jurgen Klopp dip into the transfer market this summer to secure some much-needed depth.

However, with Fabinho and Thiago both definite starters when fit, it would leave Sangare to battle with Naby Keita for that third midfield spot. Let’s see how the two compare:

Naby Keita

Since signing in 2018, Naby Keita has struggled to force his way into Jurgen Klopp’s plans.

However, this season has seen a battle of sorts form between the Equatorial Guinean and Jordan Henderson for that coveted third place alongside Thiago and Fabinho.

Keita plays a very specific role when he does get the chance to start; a role which demands a lot of energy and the ability to make up lots of ground with the ball at his feet. He ranks in the 96th percentile for progressive carries per 90, and although he is not a starter every week, Klopp calls upon his talents for specific tasks in specific games.

His ability to disrupt the opposition is often underrated, but his return of just one assist all season is somewhat underwhelming for a man who bagged nine goals and assisted seven more in his final season for RB Leipzig.

Ibrahim Sangare

According to WhoScored, Sangare seems to do a lot of what Keita does well with an added boost of his remarkable physique. Standing at 6 foot 2, his passing and tacking is ranked as ‘very strong’, and he boasts an ever-so-slightly higher passing success rate (86.1%) than Keita’s 86%.

His average SofaScore league rating of 7.38 also dwarfs that of Keita’s, which is made more impressive by the fact that the Sangare has played considerably more than the 27-year-old this season.

A respectable three goals and two assists has Sangare as somewhat of a creative force, certainly more so than Keita, but also with an eye on the dirty work.

TIF Verdict…

Jurgen Klopp would not be making a mistake if he were to fork out the asking price for this combative yet classy midfielder, especially considering how both Thiago and Henderson are now 31 and reaching the twilight of their careers and Keita has struggled to secure a spot in the team.

The signing, who Dutch football analyst Aad de Mos labelled “extraordinary” would provide more depth, and also a slightly different element to what the Reds already have in their midfield.

At the tender age of 24 with his career still laid out in front of him, Sangare could do worse than joining a Liverpool side that has ambitions to battle for every competition for the coming seasons. He could make the perfect replacement for Keita, who has struggled throughout his Liverpool career to pick up the form that saw them unload £52.75m on him.

In other news, a Liverpool forward has been linked with a move away. Find out who here.

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1 comment
  • Kamster says:

    Keita is an absolute joke….. Either glued to the physio’s bench or totally inept when given game time. We have carried this pathetic excuse of player for four years whilst shelling out £85m in process inc Signing on fee and wages. All this for 10 good games in four years, those good games were never against elite opposition. He needs to be sold asap, he has been carried and his presence both weakens our defence and attack simultaneously. Pound for pound our worst ever signing….. The day he leaves it will be a day to celebrate.

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