Subtle Naby Keita tactical change new ideas in Liverpool

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Naby Keita :The make-up of Liverpool’s best, first-choice midfield is always a talking point for Reds fans, with Jurgen Klopp currently able to call upon several different options.

Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, when at their best, are perhaps certainties, while Gini Wijnaldum would also have a strong claim.

Naby Keita, now into his third full season at Anfield since he arrived from RB Leipzig for £52 million, would also be in the conversation, Takumi Minamino can play there if required, and Curtis Jones will get plenty of minutes after stepping up from the Academy.

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Keita, though, is perhaps the one who creates the most conversation and debate. While he has yet to consistently show his top form in a Reds shirt, the signs are there that if he can stay fit for a sustained period of time, the talent he has is clear.

Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp.jpg
Klopp

 

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Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Leeds United at Anfield, Reds fan and journalist Steve Dawson explained how a slight change in the Guinean’s position has opened up new possibilities for Liverpool to exploit in their midfield.

He said: “It is good news that Liverpool can play Naby Keita on the right-hand side, and Wijnaldum on the left, ahead of a defensive midfielder.Listen to the Post-Game podcast in full by clicking HERE

“More often, we have seen Keita on the left but what we are seeing now is a situation where Keita can play two positions, Wijnaldum can play two, and Henderson can play defensive or a little bit further forward on the right.

“And Jones is up there as well now. That means Liverpool are much more able to rotate in midfield than if Keita was just playing solely on the left.

“That can be a very big thing for Liverpool going forward, particularly as Fabinho gets back up to speed and slots into that number six position.

“Fabinho is off the pace whenever he has had a bit of time out and we have seen that when he was getting used to the Premier League.

“That was when he first arrived and we have seen it when he has come back from injury as well. This pre-season he has not quite been up to speed. When Fabinho is playing well, Liverpool look a better team.”

Fabinho could well be back in the side when Liverpool face Chelsea next weekend. The Brazilian looked sharper than he has of late when he entered the field just before the hour mark against Leeds.

But Keita will also hope to be involved at Stamford Bridge. Moving forward, fitness permitting, he will become a crucial cog in Liverpool’s team this season – and being comfortable on either side of the number six will only help.

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