Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita was substituted after just 55 minutes last night, with the Reds 2-1 down against West Ham. It was the Guinean’s second consecutive start in the league following on from the 1-0 victory versus Norwich but he did very little to suggest that he deserves a regular place in the starting line up.
Before the match, manager Jurgen Klopp revealed that Keita had only made the eleven due to an injury to James Milner, and a lot of fans on Twitter were disappointed by the 25-year-old’s performance:
I know he has had injuries but how long can we continue with him, can’t trust him in a big game, if someone offered 30-40m I’d take it and get Coutinho for £70m any day of the week
— mark strevens (@strevens259) 24 February 2020
Just always looks timid and unsure of his passes
— mitch (@MJB1995) 24 February 2020
He just looks scared of himself still.
— LimpingMonkey (@monkey_limping) 24 February 2020
Just doesn’t have that confidence in himself i think
— Pritch (@Pritch___) 24 February 2020
Mediocre at best
— jarred maloney (@jarred_maloney) 24 February 2020
Game passed him by, didn’t screen the defence well and when in possession wasn’t effective. Ox got hes chance and took it
— MG (@maxwell__g1) 24 February 2020
Keita slowed the pace the of the game which made it hard to break the hammers' defence while Ox made transition from defence to attack much quicker which changed the game for us
— Kihumuro 🇺🇬🇩🇪 (@julyovet) 24 February 2020
I honestly think Keita like Lallana is half a stone too light , and despite their skill and technique they get bullied off the ball too often . Great players to have in your squad though but I'm not sure Keita can play 90mins all season. Impact player
— Karl Moore (@karlmoore11) 24 February 2020
Naby doesn't work without Henderson / Milner alongside him
— marcel (@marcel__za) 24 February 2020
Keita’s season has been disrupted by injuries once again, and while he may just need a run of games to get into top form, the competition in Liverpool’s midfield means he is unlikely to get that opportunity.
Even with Milner and captain Jordan Henderson injured, Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were still available, and with the latter having impressed after coming on in the second half, Keita may have to settle for a place on the bench when the Reds face Watford this weekend.