Leicester eye up Liverpool’s Keita as a potential replacement for Tielemans

Cameron Smith
Leicester eye up Liverpool’s Keita as a potential replacement for Tielemans

Leicester City are reportedly interested in a move for Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, with Brendan Rodgers understood to be a big fan of the former RB Leipzig man.

Keita joined Liverpool for a whopping £54 million from Leipzig in the summer of 2018, to become their third most expensive signing in history, but it hasn’t exactly panned out.

He has missed 54 games through injury since his move to Anfield, including 23 games just this season, and has fallen further down the pecking order, with the likes of Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, and Georginio Wijnaldum all favoured more heavily by Jurgen Klopp.

Football Insider have reported the news that Leicester are interested in the Guinea international, and with Youri Tielemans rumoured to be on his way out of the King Power, with Liverpool a potential destination as a replacement for Wijnaldum, Keita could well find himself playing for the Foxes next season.

How good is Keita?

Keita gained plenty of plaudits in Germany, and with 17 goals and 14 assists in all competitions across his two-year spell at Leipzig, it was expected that he would tear the Premier League apart. However, this has certainly not happened, and Liverpool are believed to be willing to accept any bid of around £30m as they look to cut their loses on a star who’s move just hasn’t worked out.

With Wilfred Ndidi a defensive powerhouse, Keita would be afforded freedom in midfield and as a player who was completing 3.6 dribbles per 90 in his final season at Leipzig, that creative flair could well be displayed with the protection of Ndidi behind him.

He could easily slot in to replace Tielemans if the Belgian does indeed leave this summer; the Guinea midfielder is making 3.2 tackles and interceptions per 90 in comparison to Tielemans’ 3.4, completing 1.4 dribbles per 90 to the Belgian’s 1.3, and is taking 1.6 shots to the Leicester man’s 1.2.

Keita is by no means at Tielemans’ level, but at just 26, time is on his side, and a move away from Anfield could be exactly what he needs to kickstart his career into action.