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Jurgen Klopp agrees that Liverpool have “not seen the real Naby Keita yet”

Liverpool’s No. 8 recently said “you’ve not seen the real Naby Keita yet” and Jurgen Klopp acknowledged he feels the same way regarding his midfielder.

Keita has featured 110 times for Liverpool and is enjoying a welcome run of games without persistent injury troubles to hold him back.

It’s been the story of his Anfield career to date and led him to say “you’ve not seen the real Naby Keita yet” back in April, as part of a Liverpool matchday programme.

With 35 appearances this season, with five games to go, Keita has already set a new record for games in a single season as a Red, amassing more than 30 for the first time since his debut season.

And with a contract that expires in 2023, Keita has plenty to prove and play for but his quality is under no question from his manager – who is relishing his clean bill of health of late.

“I’m not surprised [Keita said we’d not seen the real him], I said the same,” Klopp told reporters.

2J6BM3T Liverpool's Naby Keita (centre) celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game with team-mates Andrew Robertson (left) and Luis Diaz (right) during the Premier League match at St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. Picture date: Saturday April 30, 2022.

“We had moments where we saw Naby at an outstanding level, he’s an incredible player.

“But we spoke about that, interrupted because of injuries and stuff like this – he couldn’t get real rhythm.

“Now he’s in a completely different situation, probably the longest spell without an injury, to be honest,” Klopp said before knocking on wood.

“I’m not surprised [he said that] because I see it the same way.”

It’s been a season littered with eye-catching displays but with a number of troughs sprinkled in with the peaks for Keita, who currently has eight goal-scoring contributions from midfield (four goals and two assists).

He faces a decisive period at Liverpool with a little over 12 months left on his current deal but showing he can put his injury woes behind him and perform consistently will prove significant.

The midfielder is not the only Red facing crunch talks as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all see their respective terms end in 2023.

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