Having been a major signing for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, Naby Keita was seen as the long-term future of the Reds midfield. Both combative and creative, Keita was supposed to add a drive, bite, and touch of class to a Liverpool midfield that was high-energy but perhaps lacking in craft. Confidence was high in the signing to the point where Keita was given the No. 8 shirt – worn by club legend Steven Gerrard. However, after three seasons of toil at Anfield, it looks like a move to Spain might be next.
Keita shone when playing in Germany, with RB Leipzig, to the point where Liverpool signed him up on a premium fee and allowed him to stay in Germany for another season. Injuries and poor form in general, though, have limited Keita to making any kind of major impact at the club. Now, it appears that patience for both player and club have run out and a move to Spain – via Atletico Madrid – looks the most likely option.
Coach Diego Simeone is believed to be a massive fan of the Guinean, and has a habit of reviving players who have endured career downturns. He would offer Atletico another option to help fill out an already strong central spine of the team. Also, he would finally provide a long-term solution to replace the much-missed Thomas Partey.
Will Liverpool move on from Naby Keita?
It sounds like this is the most likely approach. Since his first-half subbing against Real Madrid, Keita has become a distant option for Liverpool. However, with Atletico offering a team that perhaps plays more to his style, he would offer a fitting addition to the Spanish side. With Liverpool short on funds yet in need of signings, moving on from Keita would provide much-needed finance to try and make some summer moves.
The fact the player is even on the market at all, though, shows just how poorly his time at Anfield has gone down. He was seen as the signature signing of the Klopp era alongside Virgin van Dijk and Alisson Becker. However, his inability to translate his Bundesliga form into regular Premier League showings has been a major letdown. For a player who was seen to be one of the major signings for Klopp to become available is a red flag.
Atletico, though, are keen to bring in new faces to the squad even if they fail to reel in an elusive league title. Given his outstanding form in the past, Simeone might see something in Keita that he believes he could re-ignite and turn around.
For now, though, an exit from Anfield to Spain seems to be the most likely opportunity for both player and club to start again. With so much put onto the signing and such little back in return, Liverpool might see this as the ideal opportunity to reset. In a rare move, this might be a signing that suits all parties involved.