Liverpool: Klopp kept Naby Keita in the loop while he was out injured
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp revealed that he spoke to Naby Keita most days regarding his role at the club to keep the player's spirits up while he was out of the team.
Jürgen Klopp has disclosed that he had regularly make a point of reassuring Naby Keita while the player remained out injured and gave him encouragement ahead of Liverpool's meeting with Bournemouth at the weekend. Keita got on the scoresheet and provided the killer pass for Mohamed Salah top score the team's third goal in his first start of the Premier League season in Saturday's 3-0 win at the Vitality Stadium.
THAT Salah assist, THAT Naby finish. Simply wonderful pic.twitter.com/zuuvY5WfRv— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 7, 2019
A £53million signing from RB Leipzig in 2018, Keita has had his difficulties since arriving at Anfield and Klopp said he frequently spoke to the Guinea international regarding his standing at Liverpool. "Naby is sitting outside and thinks 'why don't I play?’ I get all that," the Liverpool manager told UK newspapers. "So we stayed in contact, we talked and we spoke a lot about it, but in the end of course the player needs to have this evidence that the coach or the manager still believes in you. Naby had injuries and the team was and is in really good shape, so then do you change and, if you want to change, we are not flying – it's not like we won all our games 4-0 or 5-0 – so we [have] had to bring on a player who helps defending set-pieces."
Klopp rotating high-flying Liverpool
After Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring at Bournemouth, Keita struck before setting up Mohamed Salah for the Premier League leaders. As Liverpool's rotation continued for the encounter, Klopp said his squad understood the situation.
"It's not difficult for me to leave players out," he said. "I didn't speak to Sadio [Mané] about it. I didn't speak to Divock Origi. I didn't speak to Bobby [Firmino] or Mo last week. I didn't speak to Hendo [Jordan Henderson]. I didn't ask. I just have to make decisions and then next time everyone knows someone else will play. The boys are a really smart group who look at the schedule. They know how it is."
Liverpool need a draw at least in Austria
Liverpool visit Salzburg on Tuesday needing to avoid defeat to reach the Champions League last 16. After that, they play host to bottom-of-the-table Watford on Saturday.
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