Jurgen Klopp has conceded that Naby Keita has plenty of improvements to make – but the Liverpool manager insists he is not concerned by the Guinean’s slower-than-expected adaptation to English football.
The midfielder arrived in the summer, 12 months after the Reds paid a premium £53million to buy him RB Leipzig, and the nature of his game was such he was tipped to make a huge impact.
However, after a promising start in his first couple of matches the 23-year-old has struggled for form, not helped having to learn a new language and culture, an injury which sidelined him for a month in October and being asked to perform a slightly different role from the one he had in the Bundesliga.
Some pundits have even suggested Liverpool are a better side without Keita and that he could prove an expensive mistake by Liverpool.
But Keita showed flashes of his talent in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester, only his 10th start in a total of 17 Premier League appearances, and Klopp is prepared to be patient with the third-most expensive player in the club’s history.
“Yeah, happy so far but still a lot to come,” said Klopp ahead of Monday’s trip to West Ham.
“Naby is an outstanding player but he still has to improve; minutes, games, language, all that stuff.
“Everything will be fine, and it is fine so far, but we can really expect a lot more still, that’s how it is.”
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