It is clear that Jurgen Klopp feels that Liverpool need to bolster their squad ahead of next season in a bid to launch a viable title bid.
The Reds evidently need defensive reinforcements, and therefore link with RB Leipzig’s diminutive but feisty midfielder Naby Keita make sense.
While this appears to be a step in the right direction for Liverpool, the problem, as with most transfers nowadays, is the price. According to the reports listed above, the German club would want an astonishing £70 million for the 22-year-old midfielder, with The Guardian suggesting Liverpool were hoping for something more around the £50 million mark.
But is Keita worth it? Some of you might even be wondering who he is, which isn’t surprising, considering he has only played one season in a top European League; so let’s take a look at what Keita has done so far and why RB are convinced they can get so much for him.
Keita moved from Guinea to France at the age of 17 and began his European career with FC Istres. They are not a particularly big team, however, when Keita started making a name for himself there, Istres were going through a bit of purple patch.
The side were in France’s second tier, Ligue 2, and had been since 2009. This gave Keita the chance to shine at a young age in a relatively stable league, and he was excellent playing over twenty times and scoring four goals despite being only 18.
He had begun to show the attributes that have made him into one of Europe’s biggest midfield talents. He is often compared to N’golo Kante as both players are strong tacklers of the ball and have the presence of mind to make crucial interceptions.
However, Keita is a much better passer of the ball, his through balls, in particular, are excellent, and he can play in more advanced positions; he has even played in attacking midfield for RB Leipzig on some occasions.
He is also a great dribbler, in essence, he has the potential to become an all round excellent box-to-box midfielder for a top European side.
RB Salzburg saw all these qualities in him at Istres and decided to bring him into the RB family. He took to Austria like a duck to water and was a key player in the side, winning the League and Cup double in both the 2014-15 and 15-16 seasons.
In the 15-16 season, he was awarded the Austrian Bundesliga player of the year award after contributing 12 goals in 29 games.
It was clear he was ready for a step up and RB Salzburg’s sister club, RB Leipzig gave him the chance to do that in the German Bundesliga.
Keita absolutely shone in the Bundesliga and was a revelation for a Leipzig side that shocked everyone and finished second in the league.
Keita, alongside his teammate Emil Forsberg, was named in the Bundesliga team of the season after scoring eight goals and contributing seven assists despite playing 17 of his 31 games in a deep defensive midfield role.
£70 million, even £50 million, is a lot of money; However, Keita clearly has the ability to step up when challenged and the attributes to become world class.
It might seem like a lot of money, but if Liverpool do snag Keita, and he continues to improve at his current rate, his £70m tag could prove to be a bargain,