Keita has struggled to hit the form that earned him his imminent move to Merseyside this season, instead making headlines for his apparent lack of discipline.
But the 22-year-old has remained a key player for manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, despite the plan for him to join Jurgen Klopp‘s side at the end of the campaign.
He made his eighth start of the season on Tuesday night, lining up alongside a former Klopp signing at Borussia Dortmund, Kevin Kampl, at the base of Leipzig’s midfield against Porto.
With the Bundesliga outfit having drawn with AS Monaco and lost to Besiktas in their first two games in Group G, they needed a win to revive their fortunes.
And a blistering first half saw Leipzig score three, through Willi Orban, Emil Forsberg and Jean-Kevin Augustin, with Vincent Aboubakar and Ivan Marcano responding for Porto.
Leipzig were able to hold on after the break, sealing the victory and moving up to second in their group after Monaco’s defeat to Besiktas.
Keita played the whole 90 minutes, for just the fifth time this season, and it was the Guinean’s display that provided the backbone for his side’s win.
Naby Keïta's game by numbers vs. Porto:
100% aerial duels won (3)
3 tackles won
3 chances created
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 17, 2017
The midfielder made more touches than any other player, with 110, and completed more passes, with 78, with an average of 85.2 percent.
Keita also created the second-most chances of any player, with three, and equalled Forsberg for the joint-second successful dribbles, with six.
Defensively, no Leipzig player made more successful tackles (three) or interceptions (seven) than their No. 8, with Keita mopping up dangerous moves in the middle of the park.
And with his short stature at 5’8″, facing off against the likes of Danilo Pereira (6’2″), Sergio Oliveira (5’11”) and Hector Herrera (5’1″), winning all three of his aerial duels is impressive.
Keita was, unsurprisingly, the standout star on Tuesday night, and it is this all-round quality that has prompted Liverpool to pay £55 million for his services.
The threat of Keita downing tools at Leipzig on securing his Anfield move is no longer apparent, and Klopp can look forward to his new midfielder developing further this season.