BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 4, 2020: Liverpool’s Naby Keita looks dejected during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Aston Villa won 7-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Naby Keita voted ‘flop of the season’ by players after being banned by his club

After a shocking first campaign since leaving Liverpool, Naby Keita has been voted the biggest disappointment of the season by his Bundesliga peers.

Keita departed Liverpool after five years last summer and swiftly agreed a deal to join Werder Bremen, signing a three-year contract.

The 29-year-old arrived injured, and saw his season end early after being suspended by his club for allegedly refusing to travel for a clash with Bayer Leverkusen upon learning he would not start.

His first season at Bremen saw Keita play just five times, starting once, and it seems likely that he will be moved on if he can generate interest.

That failure has culminated in the Guinean being voted as the most disappointing player of the 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign by his fellow players.

In a survey conducted by Kicker, Keita received 25.6 percent of the vote, significantly more than the next-worst, Dortmund defender Niklas Sule (13.2%).

Dayot Upamecano, Leonardo Bonucci, Leon Goretzka, Kim Min-jae, Joshua Kimmich, Alphonso Davies, Robin Gosens and Donny van de Beek complete what Kicker have labelled their ‘Flop 10’.

That five of those players represent Bayern Munich is reflective of their overall disappointment of a season, finishing third behind Leverkusen and Stuttgart.

But Keita’s inclusion sums up both his inactivity and the frustration at being unable to fulfil his potential after arriving as a big-name signing.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 11, 2023: Bayern Munich's Sadio Mané during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Manchester City FC and FC Bayern Munich at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sadio Mane received similar treatment in 2022/23, when he was voted the Bundesliga’s biggest disappointment in his only campaign at Bayern, which also ended in controversy.

Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz was the runaway winner for player of the season, receiving 51.1 percent of the vote to sit comfortably ahead of team-mate Granit Xhaka (7.5%).

It remains to be seen what comes next for Keita, though it seems likely that he will be allowed to depart Bremen if the right offer arrives.

Quite where his next destination will be is unclear, having seen his stock plummet since the £52.75 million move to Liverpool that brought huge expectations.