Naby Keita appeared poised to make an early season statement following his stunning volleyed goal in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace. However, Liverpool supporters will now fear that it will instead be more of the same script as the injury-prone midfielder was subbed off again in midweek with a knock.
The Guinean appeared to be suffer a foot issue that was initially reported to not be serious. However, in a fresh blow to a Reds midfield already missing Harvey Elliott and Thiago to injury, club staff are now reported to be concerned that Keita’s issue might be more serious than originally anticipated.
The 26-year-old kicked the ground in the first half against Norwich, suffering foot and ankle pain, with assessments yet to confirm if ligament damage also occurred.
If the no. 8 does end up on the sidelines for an extended period, it would leave the club in a difficult position as negotiations are said to be ongoing regarding extending Keita’s contract with the Reds past the current summer 2023 end date.
The two sides are reportedly at an impasse, with Germany’s BILD Sport reporting that player wants assurance of an expanded first team role before signing an extension, while the club are concerned about committing heavily to player who has missed 323 days and 54 games of football since joining the Merseysiders in 2018.
Beim @LFC hat Naby Keita noch einen Vertrag bis 2023. Trotzdem steht er kurz vor einer Verlängerung, berichten englische Medien. England-Experte @cfbayern verrät, warum die Vertragsverlängerung keinesfalls in trockenen Tüchern ist.#BILDLive #EnglischeWoche pic.twitter.com/c4l8jxH7A2— BILD Sport (@BILD_Sport) September 22, 2021
It will be a difficult decision for Liverpool as, while Keita is absolutely a special talent (see aforementioned Palace belter), a player missing essentially one out of every three days of work is a tough pill for any employer to swallow.