Naby Keita’s transfer fee confirmed after final Bundesliga game for Leipzig

12 May 2018

Naby Keita has played his final game for RB Leipzig, with the Bundesliga side finishing the season with a 6-2 win at Hertha Berlin on Saturday.


That result means Leipzig finished the season in sixth position, qualifying them for the Europa League.

That sixth-place finish means Liverpool will pay £52.75 million for the Guinean midfielder.

Last summer, the two clubs agreed an initial fee of £48 million, but that was the minimum fee, with the potential being up to £59 million had Leipzig secured a Champions League qualification spot.

For Keita, his final game didn’t end in the manner he’d have wanted, being withdrawn in the latter stages of the second half after being flattened in a challenge, being winded in the chest.

The 23-year-old returned after the match to give a farewell to the Leipzig fans, who chanted his name in return.

Keita completed his final season at the German side with 39 appearances, nine goals and seven assists.

In total, he made 71 appearances for Leipzig, scoring 17 goals and providing 15 assists.

He officially joins Liverpool on July 1 and is expected to take up the Number 8 shirt that has been vacant since Steven Gerrard’s departure in 2015.

At the time of agreeing the deal for Keita last summer, he was the Reds’ record signing, since eclipsed by Virgil van Dijk‘s transfer fee in January.

Leipzig's Naby Deco Keita celebrates the 4:0 goal during the Bundesliga soccer match between RB Leipzig and Darmstadt 98 at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, Germany, 1 April 2017. (EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.) Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

Comfortable on the ball in tight spaces in midfield, adept at playing through balls, very effective when dribbling at defences, it’s hoped that Keita will add a new dimension to Liverpool’s midfield – particularly when needing to break down stubborn defences.

Arguably, Liverpool have lacked a regular goalscoring threat from midfield since Gerrard, and somewhat Philippe Coutinho, departed the club, and Keita can provide something that the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum cannot.

He’ll join up with his new teammates when they return for pre-season in early July, but has also been invited to watch the Champions League final in Kiev later this month.

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