Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has backed Naby Keita to come through his difficult start at Anfield.
The Guinean has had injury problems this campaign but has also struggled to hold down a first-team place even when fit.
When asked about Keita in his pre-match press conference yesterday, Klopp said he believes the £52.75m summer signing needs time to settle:
“I’m happy so far but there’s still a lot to come. Naby is an outstanding player but still has to improve – gain minutes, games, language, all that stuff, get more settled.”
“Everything will be fine and it’s fine so far but we can really expect a lot more still, that’s how it is.”
The 23-year-old was selected in the starting lineup that faced Leicester on Wednesday night but it was only his tenth start in the league all season.
Keita has yet to score for the Reds and only managed to get his first assist in the 4-3 win over Crystal Palace last weekend.
One mitigating factor is that the midfielder has had to play out of position on a number of occasions this campaign.
Klopp has employed Keita as a number 10 and wide on the left in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
He played in a more familiar withdrawn role against Leicester; the first time in the league since his impressive display versus Burnley back in December.