The Scout Report: Naby Keita

Last time out we looked at a player who became Liverpool’s record transfer this time we are looking at Naby Keita who if he completes his move will break that transfer record by a mile with the reported fee of around £70m. The Guinean midfielder shares the same agent to Liverpool star Sadio Mane, so that’s something to feel up for….right Reds?

Liverpool already have quite a few midfielders in their possession with the likes of Gini Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Jordan Henderson and new to the central role Coutinho. Though Naby will give Liverpool that extra bite in the middle of the park if the transfer is to go through.

The reported fee is what is creating the dilemma, £70m for a player who has just one season of experience in the top flight of a top 5 European league? Though you don’t really get a quality player under 50 or so million nowadays….

But what kind of a player is Naby Keita?

As mentioned the 22-year-old Guinean midfielder does only have one season of experience in the top flight of a top 5 European league. Naby Keita moved to what was a part of the Red Bull Salzburg side from 2014 but when Leipzig got promoted into the Bundesliga Ralph Hasenhüttl brought him to Germany.

Keita is the complete modern-age midfielder, what I mean by that is that he can do it all he can pass he can defend and he definitely can orchestrate games from the middle of the park. Not only that Naby is comfortable playing out wide too and does bring the same amount of malice we saw this when he was deployed in a wider role for Leipzig when Emil Forsberg was suspended.

A standout aspect of Keita’s game is that he is able to drive from midfield to get into dangerous positions and has an eye for a pass which makes him deadly in the final third. This just goes to show how well he can do it all as he wins the ball back for his team, drives through the midfield and plays a brilliant pass to a more advanced player. Keita isn’t shy to play the one two’s as well, as he picks the ball deep in his half and plays lovely one two’s with his team members and is able to bring his side much further forward. He also has tricks which he does pull off every so often if that is to beat a defender or to get a shot away he is very effective with them. Keita isn’t the slowest player in the world which does see him not afraid of getting in behind defenders or chasing the loose ball. He’s very influential when he plays deep in midfield too this is because as his vision is so good he is able to pick passes no one else would envisage exempt him. Lastly, he is a very smart footballer and is unbelievable when it comes to winning the ball back in the attacking half this is essential to Jurgen Klopp’s heavy metal footballer philosophy and Keita sure does encapsulate that.

Considering this wide list of positives and strengths that Keita has to his game there is also this small weakness or area which he particularly isn’t good at. Arial Ability, this is somewhat evident that with his small frame he isn’t able to win many if any balls that are played over the top he is very much the player who contests for the second ball. This might be a problem as Liverpool might pair him with Coutinho who isn’t the tallest himself, this might see us get outmuscled in some games.

Naby Keita is a player Liverpool are in a dire need of, this is because if they want to challenge for the title next season they need some serious quality and that is what you get in abundance with a player like Naby Keita. The price tag might turn a few heads but if Liverpool are able to secure his signature it would be a real statement by the Reds and will definitely see them better equipped for the football season.

Do you think Keita is worth the money?