Naby Keita

 

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Naby Keita

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Naby Keita





Current Club: RB Leipzig (set to join Liverpool next summer).

Previous Clubs: RB Salzburg, FC Istres, Horoya AC.

Loan Clubs: None.





International: Guinea 29 caps 5 goals.

Trophies Won: Austrian League 2014/15, 2015/16, Austrian Cup 2014/15, 2015/16, Austrian Bundesliga Player of the Year 2015/16, Guinea Footballer of the Year 2015.





Keita has had a fairly meteoric rise in football, with very few people knowing who he was before last season started. However RB Leipzig's midfield was built around him as they won entry to the Champions League for this season. If it was not for a release clause in his contract, which would have allowed him to leave to another Bundesliga club for a reasonably low price, there is little chance they would have agreed the deal to sell him to Liverpool. One season in German football was enough to see his value sky rocket.



While many are under the impression Keita is a similar player to N'Golo Kante, that is very much a false impression. While the Guinean can race around breaking up play and shielding the defence, he is not at the same level as the French player. However on the ball he is a much better player and among the better players in world football currently. Though he has had a few problems with his temperament this season, which has seen him get sent off a number of times already.



In fact, in Germany, there are a lot of people who feel the forthcoming move has gone to his head and he has lost his head a bit. Keita's self control seems to have vanished and he is reacting badly to what happens around him. Some believe that, far from it going to his head in terms of becoming Billy Big-Time, he is just trying too hard to prove he is still trying to win things for RB Leipzig. Difficult to tell which is the problem, but there is a very genuine disciplinary concern right now and it is affecting his game.



Despite the disciplinary issues, Keita is a quality player with a fondness for dribbling the ball past players, usually to open up space to play the through ball he is so fond of. If anything he overplays the killer pass, which can lead to it being cut out by the opposition. Also has a cracking shot on him, with some real venom to it, which is probably why he tends to draw a fair few fouls. Though his pace has a lot to do with that, as he drives at defences with the ball at his feet with real pace and that does frighten defenders.



At just 22, Keita has a bright future ahead of him, with the potential to become one of the best midfielders in the world. However he needs to sort out his discipline on the pitch and continue to work hard at his game. The attributes are there to be a future world class player, but it all comes down to how badly he wants to make it.


Written by Tris Burke


 




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