Pundit Reaction

Liverpool: Dean Jones criticises Naby Keita after injury woes

Image for Liverpool: Dean Jones criticises Naby Keita after injury woes

Journalist Dean Jones has slammed Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita’s injury record as the Guinean has missed the entire season so far, leading up to the World Cup.

The Lowdown: Keita’s consistent absences

The 27-year-old has never had an injury-free campaign since his arrival at Anfield in 2018, and has failed to play a single minute of competitive football since a five-minute cameo in the Community Shield in August.

When he has been able to play for a run of games, the technical midfielder has played magnificently at times, but his poor availability has meant that he never truly realised his potential in Merseyside after his £48m move from RB Leipzig.

The Latest: Midfielder hurting Liverpool

With Keita not set to return to the side for a while, Jones has criticised his availability, and accused him of hurting Liverpool’s chances.

“It’s just unbelievably frustrating for everyone involved,” Jones told GIVEMESPORT.

“Naby Keita is such a gifted footballer and this should have been a brilliant transfer, but he’s been unavailable for 30 games over the past year and it has hurt Liverpool. There’s no doubt about that.”

The £120k-per-week midfielder’s contract runs out at the end of the season, and given his injury record, there may be some hesitancy to tie him down to a new deal.

The Verdict: Reliable replacement needed

Keita has managed just 76 appearances in four and a half seasons in a Liverpool shirt, and although he clearly possesses great quality, Klopp can no longer rely on him to appear for a fraction of every campaign.

Liverpool’s long-standing interest in Jude Bellingham has only increased in recent months, and should they land the Borussia Dortmund sensation, they will finally land a central midfielder who they could count on for the long term.

With Thiago Alcantara also suffering injury woes, the Reds have had a frustrating season which has seen last season’s quadruple chasers currently occupy eighth place in the Premier League.

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