Kebe says Klopp needs to start playing Keita in his preferred position to get the best out of the Guinea international in a Liverpool shirt. He claims Keita will be able to show his best qualities if he is deployed as a playmaker, instead of a box-to-box midfield player trying to win the ball back.
Malick Kebe Tweeted out his message to ‘Coach Klopp’ on Monday, with Liverpool’s next match coming against Southampton next weekend.
The day that Coach Klopp gets Naby Keita to play in his favorite role, you see what he will bring to Liverpool. He is a playmaker, not a scavenger. Good to hear, hi. https://t.co/IvcTpJcAja
— Malick Kebe (@MalickKebe8) May 3, 2021
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
It is difficult for Keita to be utilised in an attacking midfield role by Liverpool because it does not suit the style of play Klopp employs. Klopp typically opts for a 4-3-3 formation, with three central midfielders screening the defence and facilitating play for the fullbacks to provide chances for the front three. The likes of Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum excel in transition as they are able to win the ball back and then efficiently move it on to Andy Robertson or Trent Alexander-Arnold in wide positions, where they can then create chances.
This is highlighted by Liverpool’s assist numbers in the Premier League this season. Robertson and Alexander-Arnold are both joint-top of the club’s assisters in the league, with five each, and no central midfielder for the club has more than one assist, whilst Wijnaldum is the only midfielder with more than one goal scored. These statistics show that Liverpool’s build-up revolves around the fullbacks creating the chances, rather than a playmaking midfielder.
Therefore, Keita – who is valued at £34.2m by Transfermarkt – is unlikely to be used as a playmaker in Klopp’s team as it is now. As much as Kebe wants his client to excel, it may be that Keita has to move clubs if he shares the same feelings as his agent and desperately wants to play that role. If Liverpool are unable to offer it to him, which appears to be the case, then he may need to look elsewhere.
I’m a 22-year-old football writer from Lowestoft. I produce, edit, and publish articles for Anfield Watch full-time.