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Klopp Talk: There Was Never a Doubt about Keita’s Quality

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The boss talks about Naby Keita’s long road to recovery and the impact he made in his first start this season.

AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images

Anyone who watched the Bournemouth game this weekend (and then maybe watched it again because it was just that good) spent quite a lot of time cheering on Naby Keita as he glided across the pitch and then got a goal and an assist just for good measure. Keita has had a rough time at Liverpool with injuries preventing him from making a huge impact at the club since he joined in the summer of 2018. When asked about Keita’s performance and what his return means to the team, Klopp was happy to expound.

“Naby is sitting outside and thinks ‘Why don’t I play?’ I get all that,” Klopp said after the Bournemouth win. “So we stayed in contact, we talked and we spoke a lot about it, but in the end of course the player needs to have this evidence that the coach or the manager still believes in you. Naby had injuries and the team was and is in really good shape, so then do you change and, if you want to change, we are not flying – it’s not like we won all our games 4-0 or 5-0 – so we [have] had to bring on a player who helps defending set-pieces.”

“He was just unlucky and in life you need luck always,” Klopp added. “The boys [who were playing] got more and more used to each other and then another injury came [for Keita]. In pre-season he was not at 100 per cent when he started but there was never a doubt about his quality.”

Hopefully the midfielder can stay injury free and continue to work his magic on the pitch for the rest of the season.