Liverpool supporters have watched the Reds overcome all Premier League obstacles this season. On Saturday, despite a stubborn Norwich City holding their own against the Jurgen Klopp’s team, Sadio Mane found a late winner in brilliant fashion to keep Liverpool on the title trail.
Klopp’s team are just 15 points away from winning their first league championship in 30 years. It is a magical season at Anfield that has followed on from Liverpool’s Champions League final win last term over Tottenham Hotspur. Liverpool are still fighting to complete a treble with silverware in the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League up for grabs.
Although Liverpool won at Carrow Road on Saturday with another stout defensive performance, Liverpool supporters have failed to unanimously give one player in the team’s starting XI a glowing review. Midfielder Naby Keita continues to be a polarising figure at Anfield with supporters unable to agree on his importance to the team and quality of performances.
A polarising figure at Anfield
Keita has scored three goals and tallied one assist in 17 games in all competitions for the Reds. His season has been greatly restricted due to injuries for a second straight term. Keita has missed 11 games due to two different injuries (muscle tear, groin strain).
Liverpool signed Keita in 2018 for £54 million from RB Leipzig with high expectations. In just over a season and a half, Keita has played 50 matches in all competitions scoring six goals and assisting two.
Following the team’s 1-0 win over Norwich City, Liverpool supporters gave their verdict of Keita via Twitter. Although some were happy with his performance having started in midfield for Fabinho, others were not quite so full of praise.
Naby Keita has had enough chances to prove himself now, I’ve had enough of him. #NORLIV
— Dennis Sabino (@RossCra48153574) February 15, 2020
Naby Keita has not been good enough at all in his time at the club, so many fans afraid to criticize him
— Chris Anton (@chrisanton10) February 15, 2020
Naby Keita goes off. What an enigma he is.
He'll win player of the year next season. Or be back in Germany.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) February 15, 2020
Naby Keita is awful
— Gazprom (@Gazprom2018) February 15, 2020
No one ever talks about how much a massive flop naby keita is what has he done in the league so far?
— ♿️ (@Utdryaaan) February 15, 2020
Keita has his supporters
While there were plenty of critics over Keita’s performance on Saturday, there were a number of other Liverpool supporters that were very happy with his play. Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum was picked out as struggling for the Reds rather than Keita as fans have defended the latter’s recent appearances.
Keita led all players in tackles (five), had a 76% pass rate, made one key pass, and had three shots during his 83 minutes on the pitch, according to WhoScored.com. Those numbers led these Liverpool supporters to praise the midfielder.
Naby Keita is a midfielder who when fit is a boss player. If he keeps fit, he's gonna make every single one of them doubting him take a big fat L.
— Arvind Krishnan (@IlmonstroFlaco) February 15, 2020
I thought Naby Keita showed signs of being back to his Leipzig best today. His dribbling. His burst of pace. His quick feet. His incisive passing. His shooting. His dirty tackling. His snideness. His will to win at all costs. It's taken him time to find his feet but wow.#LFC
— LFC Dagger (@lfc_dagger) February 15, 2020
Atletico Madrid are doing NOTHING in La Liga. In the Championsleague? They are DANGEROUS! I said this ages ago. Naby Keita has to 100% start both games. If he doesn’t play? I see NO creativity for both legs. It will just be LONG! #LFC
— Timmy Robson (@WaveyTimz277) February 15, 2020
Naby Keita this season:
5 Key passes p/90
4 chances created p/90
1.5 big chances created p/90
7 tackles p/90
3 interceptions p/90
4 clearances p/90
Naby Deco Keita: The complete package pic.twitter.com/FZxjtDXGVe
— Aaryan (@Aaryouz) February 15, 2020
So, is Keita the complete package for Liverpool? Wijnaldum’s contract will come to an end at Anfield in 2021. Although the Reds have been working on a potential new deal. If one is not worked out, he could leave in the summer giving Keita the chance to take the Dutchman’s place in the first-team.
Keita is sure to continue to split Liverpool supporters. The midfielder has some more time this season to win fans over as long as he stays fit.