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Keep or sell? Brilliant or awful? – Fans divided on Naby Keita’s Liverpool future

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Naby Keita again finds himself in the spotlight at Liverpool, but how do Reds supporters feel about his future at Anfield? 

The Guinean arrived in the summer of 2018 amid much fanfare, having agreed to join from RB Leipzig a year previous.

Keita was very much viewed as the man who was going to take Liverpool up a level, offering the kind of guile and effortless talent that arguably didn’t exist among those playing regularly in midfield.

After a promising start, which included an outrageous turn at Crystal Palace, the 26-year-old’s Reds career has become an increasingly curious one.

Injuries have undoubtedly held him back, not allowing him many long runs in the team, and he has been restricted to just 76 appearances in nearly three seasons, with only 47 starts.

Keita hasn’t been bad when fit, enjoying some strong performances and playing his role in a glorious period under Jurgen Klopp, but his time on Merseyside has been underwhelming.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 7, 2021: Liverpool's Naby Keita during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Fulham won 1-0 extending Liverpool's run to six consecutive home defeats. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On Tuesday night, the African superstar reached his nadir at Liverpool, being substituted before half-time in the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid.

It raised fresh question marks over Keita’s long-term future with the Reds, especially with Leicester rumoured to be interested in signing him.

But how do you view the midfielder?

We took to Twitter to give fans four different options regarding Keita’s quality and future, and you have been responding in your thousands.

Only a small minority (9% at time of writing) believe he remains a brilliant footballer who should stay this summer, with nearly a third of the voters (30%) seeing him as nothing more than an adequate option moving forward.

The narrow majority (32.1%) would get rid of Keita, however, claiming he is ‘mediocre’, while over a quarter (28.9%) brutally think he is an ‘awful signing’.

It is never easy to second-guess Klopp, but his decision to sub Liverpool’s No. 8 so early in proceedings in midweek felt telling.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 22, 2020: Liverpool’s Naby Keita goes off with an injury past manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It may be that the manager decides Keita simply hasn’t worked out at Anfield, with fitness issues and a failure to match expectations working against him.

At 26, though, Klopp may still have faith in him, especially having waxed lyrical over his displays in training of late.

As the poll shows, Reds fans are divided over what the next chapter in Keita’s career should be.

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