Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hooked Naby Keita from the field because he failed to follow Jurgen Klopp’s instructions from the sidelines with their unbeaten record at stake. It seemed like a defining day in his Anfield career after a stop-start 18 months on Merseyside, but it was an opportunity he failed to grasp with both hands.
Jurgen Klopp said ” Naby Keita came to us from Leipzig slightly injured, then he had another little injury and at the end of last season, again, another injury so that was the situation. Of course, the Premier League is a big step for every player coming from abroad. But of course, now he has settled into the team and the club. His English is getting better, all that stuff and these are all important things. So do I expect more? I just expect development – that’s how it is, to be honest from everybody. I think they can all make big steps and that’s what we are working on.”
With competition for places so high, Klopp feels as though he has to offer other players a crack at the whip whenever there is a slight dip in performance levels. At the start of the season, Klopp made it clear that he expected more from Keita this time around. After all, this was a player that they had to wait 12 months for before he joined up with the squad.
While Bruno Fernandes is rightly proving to be a welcome addition to a depleted and unbalanced Manchester United midfield, there maybe an element that they are slightly overstating his impact to date. Bruno Fernandes’ place in United’s side is still very much a work in progress, and when comparing him to one current member of Liverpool’s squad, it offers a sobering reality to the level he is actually at.
Both players are also aged 25, but that is very much where the comparison ends. in terms of output and attributes, Keïta is streets ahead of his opponent, per 90 minutes. The most stark numbers come in interceptions (2.97 to 0), expected goal buildup (1.37 to 0.24) and passing percentage (95 to 74).
Naby Keïta continues to have his detractors at Liverpool, for no other reason than his fitness record. The Guinean has been hampered by a series of muscle injuries for the past two seasons which have halted his momentum, and resulted in him averaging the same number of completed Premier League games as Fernandes (3.8 to 3.2), despite the latter only joining in January this year.
Liverpool club legend and former captain Steven Gerrard believes that Liverpool would not function properly “without a cog like Jordan Henderson”.
Steven Gerrard said “I appreciated Jordan’s power and fitness by training with him. Some players play for themselves, Jordan does the dirty running, grappling for second balls, 12 or 13km Saturday and Wednesday, again and again. Teams can’t function at Liverpool’s level without a cog like Jordan Henderson. He’s obviously going to be a Premier League winner. I look at him and think: good for you. He has that confidence now. He has lifted the European Cup above his head. I don’t deserve one iota of credit, he has done it all himself, but I remember a chat with Jordan in LA a while ago and he wasn’t sure whether he was coming or going at the club. I remember saying to him don’t give up on Liverpool, you’ll be fine. I knew what he had inside and that he would get there. You know with certain people.”
Gerrard claims to have never had any doubts that he was leaving Liverpool in safe hands and Henderson has more than justified the faith shown in him, with the England international now a Champions League winner, Premier League title hopeful and leading contender for the 2020 PFA Player of the Year award.
Mo Salah was considered a premier league flop until Liverpool paid Roma £34m for getting him back in 2017. Since his arrival the Egyptian King has set the record for most goals in a Premier League season and has consistently wowed Kopites with his instinctive goal grabbing ability. Despite all of his quantifiable virtues, Jamie Carragher feels Mo Salah is underappreciated at Anfield.
Jamie Carragher said “I think if you asked Liverpool fans whether they would take big money for the other five [world class players], they would all say no, no matter what the money but if you offered them £130m for Salah, they would think about it. That is why I say he is under-appreciated. Only Lionel Messi has more goals and assists than Salah in Europe’s top five leagues since he joined Liverpool. But I think it would be so difficult for [Sancho and Mbappe], in their first two-and-a-half years at Liverpool, to get [Salah’s] numbers. That is why Liverpool need to be careful.”
Liverpool have had some fantastic goalscorers over the years. The Reds have seen the likes of Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez tear teams apart in recent years, Michael Owen and Kenny Dalglish in the past. Jamie Carragher has warned Liverpool against replacing Mo Salah, one of our most deadly finishers ever.
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