MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 15:59:28

Naby Keita is still adapting at Liverpool – Jurgen Klopp

Naby Keita is still adapting at Liverpool – Jurgen Klopp
© Reuters
The 23-year-old has made 18 appearances since arriving in the summer.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits Naby Keita has yet to reproduce the form which persuaded him to spend £52million on the midfielder – but it is not a concern.

The 23-year-old has made 18 appearances since arriving in the summer – 12 months after the Reds agreed a deal to sign him from RB Leipzig – but has failed to feature in the last three matches.

Keita started the season promisingly but a couple of niggling injuries set him back, however, Klopp is prepared to give him time to adapt.

"I spoke to Naby. Everything is fine. I am completely happy with Naby," said the Reds boss.

"Could he be a bit more confident in the games? Yes. Is he exactly the player in his best time at Leipzig? No. He is still adapting, that's how it is.

"Everyone saw at the beginning of the season how brilliant he played. Tottenham was a fantastic game from him, without thinking too much.

"A little injury here, a little injury there, and it was kind of a little setback but he is a fantastic player and I am really happy to have him here.

"It is so good and I am looking forward to our common future. You see it every day, wow, there is so much to come and there is so much influence he can have on each game.

"There was no reason (for leaving him out), just other boys were in a good shape as well, a bit was positioning, the system, all that stuff, and that's how football decisions are.

"There is really no doubt about the boy, he is an outstanding player."

Keita is likely to get a start in the FA Cup tie at Wolves as one of a number of players in need of pitch time.

Another of those is Adam Lallana, who has had his struggles with injuries also.

"I can tell you it is a good opportunity for all the players," added Klopp.

"Adam is actually in outstanding shape. It's unbelievable. It was close in the last game whether we started him or not. He is really, really good.

"Always in life if you learn from your experiences – you cannot learn too much from being injured – but when you come back what is your mood?

"Adam is a player who would play four games in a day if he could because of his desire to play football.

"He is in the best moment since I've known him as a person and he will have a big part of our season. That's cool.

"He always accepts my decisions but then it is about what you make of them, if you are in or out.

"If I'm in doubt about somebody or something is wrong then I will speak to them immediately. But everything is fine. He is an important part of the squad."


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Rafael Camacho in action for Liverpool during pre-season in July 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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