These are exciting times for Liverpool fans as they are set to welcome two new midfielders at Anfield this week. The main focus, however, will be on Naby Keita who Liverpool went all out on last summer after the departure of Brazilian Phillipe Coutinho. The Guinean international has had two stellar seasons in Germany but has been lately criticized for his aggression over the end of last season. The former Leipzig man has received three red cards in seven games, that spanned only 39 games.
Check out Naby Keïta's first day @ Melwood… pic.twitter.com/M8grpS0l1H
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 29, 2018
But all three of his cards were nothing more than an anomaly with all three – one for a Sadio Mané-esque high boot against Borussia Mönchengladbach, another for a swipe of the arm on international duty and the last for two yellows against Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal – coming at completely different situations and are unlikely to be repeated in quick succession as they are completely unrelated to one another. Liverpool supporters, however, are not dampened by the dismissals and are waiting in anticipation to watch the man play for whom the Reds have agreed to pay a premium on top of a £47m release clause in order to beat other interested parties to the Bundesliga standout for the 2018/19 campaign onwards, has all the attributes to transform the Reds into something altogether more cohesive, robust and threatening.
Keita is known to be a box to box dynamo who takes up the responsibility of pressing hard from the midfield roles, breaking up opposition attacks and starting the teams attack from a deep midfield role. He has averaged 3.1 interceptions per 90 minutes, a figure no Liverpool player could match in the Premier League, he also made three tackles per 90 last term – again, a return no Liverpool with more than 85 minutes of action to their name could better – while he has taken that average to a staggering 4.1 per 90 in 2017/18.
Liverpool have today confirmed the arrival of midfielder Naby Keita from RB Leipzig 📄🖊
And he's got an eye for a long-range banger too 👀
Excited, Liverpool fans? pic.twitter.com/C2vPYmu1fn
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 27, 2018
Keita offers everything that the current Liverpool midfield needs with the likes of Mane, Salah, and Firmino up ahead with an added x-factor of being incredibly dynamic and instinctively creative.
In terms of weakness he can sometimes slightly be caught up ahead of the ball and his aggression can overspill sometimes. But overall he is a phenomenal talent that Liverpool will only benefit from because of his all-around midfield ability that hasn’t been seen at Anfield since Steven Gerrard.