Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 August 2019

Naby Keita still adapting to life at Liverpool, says Jurgen Klopp

Guinea midfielder in line for start in FA Cup third-round against Wolves on Monday

Liverpoo midfielder Naby Keita has struggled to replicate the form that persuaded the Premier League club to buy him from RB Leipzig. AFP
Liverpoo midfielder Naby Keita has struggled to replicate the form that persuaded the Premier League club to buy him from RB Leipzig. AFP

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits the "outstanding" Naby Keita has yet to reproduce the form that persuaded him to sign the midfielder - but says he has a bright future at Anfield.

The 23-year-old Guinea international started his Liverpool career brightly and has made 18 appearances so far this season but he has failed to feature in the past three matches for the Premier League leaders.

However, Klopp is prepared to give Keita, who arrived from RB Leipzig during the summer, time to adapt.

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

"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."

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Klopp said minor injury problems had held the player back but he was a welcome addition to the squad.

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

He added: "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 on Monday as one of several players in need of game time.

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

"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."

Updated: January 7, 2019 03:56 PM

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