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'A very good option': Klopp hints he'll start 'outstanding' £130k-a-week Liverpool player tonight

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has dropped a big hint about Naby Keita starting in their Champions League semi-final second leg.

The 27-year-old midfielder scored the only goal of the game on Saturday as the Reds beat Newcastle in the Premier League.

As well as scoring the winner and playing a part in many of Liverpool’s key attacking moments, Keita won possession more times (9) than anyone else.

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Admittedly, there was one scare involving the £130,000-a-week star at St James’ Park.

He was seen limping heavily in the second half after a knock to his ankle.

However, Keita ran it off and completed the full 90 minutes, much to Klopp’s delight.

“He’s outstanding”

The Guinea international has enjoyed a largely injury-free calendar year, and Klopp says he has never doubted his player’s quality.

“The player was never in doubt, not for a second, because he’s outstanding,” he told the Liverpool media team ahead of the Villarreal trip.

“It’s good he is now available. It’s a good option, a very good option to have.

“Played at the weekend obviously a really good game, so we’ll see how long we will use him tomorrow. A very good option.”

Keita has sometimes struggled to hold down a place in the side following his arrival from RB Leipzig in 2018.

However, his display against Newcastle was just the latest in a run of impressive performances.

In the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City, he was arguably the best player on the pitch.

Keita also shone in the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Benfica.

Liverpool team news ahead of Villarreal trip

Roberto Firmino is also among the travelling contingent to Spain for the second leg of the last-four clash.

However, the Brazilian is not ready for match action as he continues to recover from the foot injury he sustained in mid-April.

And Divock Origi has returned to team training after missing last weekend’s win over Newcastle due to illness.

Liverpool boast a 2-0 lead from the first leg at Anfield ahead of their crunch clash at El Madrigal.

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