Naby Keita: Jurgen Klopp ‘never doubted’ Liverpool midfielder

Naby Keita scored Liverpool’s second goal in his first Premier League appearance of the season

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he never doubted midfielder Naby Keita, who returned and scored in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Bournemouth.

Keita cost £52.75m from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2018, but has been restricted to only 17 Premier League starts since.

“Naby had injuries, the team is in really good shape, so then do you change?” said Klopp.

“It was just unlucky and in life you always need luck.”

A muscular issue, a groin strain and a back problem have affected 24-year-old Keita at various points during his Anfield career.

His appearance on the south coast was his first Premier League start of the season and he marked it by scoring Liverpool’s second goal, before setting up Mohamed Salah for the third.

“We are not flying, it’s not like we won all of the games 4-0, or 5-0, so we had to bring on a player who helps us with defending set-pieces,” said Klopp, whose side are eight points clear at the top of the table.

“Then Naby is sitting outside thinking, ‘why don’t I play?’ I get all that.

“So we stayed in contact, we talked and we spoke a lot about it.

“But in the end of course a player needs to have this evidence that the manager still believes in you. I was never in doubt about that.”

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