clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jürgen Klopp Welcomes Naby Keïta Back to Full Fitness

Xherdan Shaqiri is out against Red Star Belgrade but Keïta could have a role to play for Liverpool.

SSC Napoli v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Group C

The bad news is that Liverpool will be without Xherdan Shaqiri when they kick off against Belgrade on Tuesday after the club voluntarily chose to leave the player at home to mitigate the risk of violence from Red Star ultras.

The good news is that Jürgen Klopp will still have midfield options—at least off the bench—thanks to the return of Naby Keïta, who travelled with the team and who Klopp says is fully fit for the first time following his hamstring injury.

“Yesterday was the first time in 100% training so we will now have to see what we do with him for tomorrow,” the manager told the club’s official website as the team headed to the Serbian capital for their Champions League tie.

A start for Keïta seems unlikely given his time on the sidelines, but if the game is close in the second half, his drive and creativity with the ball could prove invaluable as a substitute as Liverpool look to hold on to top spot in the group.

It could also mean an opportunity on Tuesday for Adam Lallana to start if Klopp decides he wants to change up the midfield of Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, and James Milner that started against Arsenal over the weekend in the league.

“It was a very good start [for Keïta],” Klopp added. “He did a proper pre-season from the first day, played fantastic games and made a good start in the league. Then he had two [injuries]—in Naples and then with the national team.

“It was not that long. It was four games. [His start to the season] could have been a bit better, but only because of the injuries—all the rest was good.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liverpool Offside Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Liverpool FC news from Liverpool Offside