Sunday, December 4, 2022

Liverpool To Hand This Midfielder A New Contract: A Wise Choice By The Club?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Calciomercato, Liverpool are set to extend Naby Keita’s contract. The RB Leipzig midfielder’s current deal at the club expires in 2023, having joined the club back in 2018. It appears the two parties are now involved in negotiations over a potential contract extension that may keep the player at Anfield further than 2023.

Naby Keita’s Misfortunate Spell At Liverpool

Naby Keita’s arrival at Liverpool back in 2018, for a whopping fee of €60 million, was one of Jurgen Klopp’s biggest investments in the market. He was brought in to supplement the club’s midfield department that needed some creative reinforcements.

Keita was coming on the back of an exciting 2017/18 campaign with RB Leipzig, emerging as one of Bundesliga’s most talented central midfielders due to his ability on the ball as well as his tactical flexibility.

However, three years into his career at Anfield, Keita has been largely branded as a flop by the English media. His career in the Premier League has been marred by injuries, with the 26-year-old notably suffering 14 different spells on the sidelines since joining Liverpool three years ago.

It has made things difficult for Keita, as far as his performances are concerned. He has made only 80 competitive appearances for the club, failing to play a major role in everything the Reds have won over the past couple of years.

Liverpool are set to extend Naby Keita's contract - He is having a decent season.
September 15, 2021, Liverpool, England: Liverpool, England, Anfield, September 15, 2021, Naby Keita Liverpool FC in action during Group B – Liverpool FC vs AC Milan – UEFA Champions League football match UEFA Champions League football match – Group B – Liverpool FC vs AC Milan, Liverpool, England PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY – ZUMAl164 20210915_zsa_l164_041 Copyright: xFrancescoxScaccianocex

Why Are Liverpool Extending Keita’s Contract?

Liverpool’s decision to extend the contract of Naby Keita is quite astounding given the midfielder’s struggles with form and fitness over the past three years. He has never really managed to live up to his price tag, ultimately forcing Klopp to rely on other players.

However, it appears the summer exit of Gini Wijnaldum has forced the club to reconsider their stance on Keita. With the Dutchman joining PSG on a free transfer, Liverpool are aware of the fact that Keita could be an excellent direct replacement if the 26-year-old can keep his injury issues behind.

The former Leipzig starlet has already started the new season on a strong note, featuring in the starting eleven on two of the club’s five league matches as well as starting in the Champions League win over AC Milan. Keita even scored a late goal in the recent win over Crystal Palace and it appears he has moved ahead of Curtis Jones and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain in the pecking order.

An extended stay at Anfield, therefore, could prove to be a sensible move for both parties involved as the club looks to retain its depth in central midfield while the player will be determined to silence his critics after three difficult years in Merseyside.

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