Jurgen Klopp was reportedly interested in adding a new midfielder to his squad this summer. But, in the absence of a new arrival, the Liverpool manager will be encouraged by the form of Naby Keita.
Keita has made just 30 Premier League appearances since the start of the 2019-20 season, but the injury-hit midfielder has the skillset to give Liverpool something extra.
And the 26-year-old showed his quality during Wednesday’s international fixture between Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.
Keita picked up the ball in the centre of the park and drew the opposition out of shape with some clever delayed movement.
But it was the Liverpool man’s brilliant through-ball that will have impressed Klopp the most, with the assist setting up Francois Kamano for the opener.
Keita has made just four assists in the league to date as a Liverpool player, but could be the perfect solution to Klopp’s midfield concerns.
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Liverpool’s transfer business over the summer was underwhelming, with defender Ibrahima Konate the only significant arrival at Anfield.
And that lack of investment further forward seemed to be evident when Klopp’s side failed to unlock ten-man Chelsea in a one-sided second half last weekend.
Keita remained on the bench for the duration of that match.
But his sparkling assist on international duty was a reminder of the quality of the player that Liverpool were so keen to sign from RB Leipzig four years ago.
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Klopp will be hoping for an immediate impact from his squad players to silence the growing concern that there is something wrong within the playing squad – a claim made by pundit Gary Neville prior to the international break.
“I was at the game on Saturday, Liverpool v Chelsea, and I said after the game – sometimes you can’t put your finger on it [but] something’s not right,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“Not bad. There’s no massive spirit issue, or the manager falling out with players. Nothing like that.
“You can just feel it and see when something is right. It’s just not there [now], that team has gone a little bit just over the edge.”
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Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea took them to seven points from three games at the start of the Premier League campaign.
Klopp’s side will resume after the international break with a visit to Leeds United on Sunday 12 September.