Naby Keïta is a Liverpool player. For the next few months, he’s also a Red Bull Leipzig player, after the German side resisted letting him go to Anfield six months early when the Reds inquired into it in January. And he may not play another game for either this season.
Keïta has this week suffered a thigh strain, and reports out of Germany suggest there may be muscle damage and that he is likely to be sidelined for the next 12-14 weeks—or just a little over three months. That’s a timeline that extends past the end of the current season.
It’s not ideal for the 23-year-old to miss around a quarter of the season, but for Liverpool at least it’s not the worst possible news—he will, after all, be expected fit in time for pre-season, and this isn’t the sort of injury one would expect would leave a lasting impact.
With proper medical care, Keïta should be able to work back towards full fitness to line up with when he will first train with his new Liverpool teammates with little to no risk of long-term complications or an increased chance of future injury for the Guinean star.
If there is a loser in all of this, then, it’s Leipzig, who turned down an additional fee from Liverpool to allow Keïta to depart in January and now will have neither said fee or—in all likelihood—the player for the remainder of their 2017-18 campaign.