As Liverpool slipped to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid on Tuesday night, one man might have seen his career at Anfield evaporate into the warm Madrid air.
Naby Keita was a surprise name on the team sheet when Jurgen Klopp revealed his starting eleven. He was handed the chance to play at the expense of Thiago Alcantara who began on the bench.
It took just 42 minutes for the Liverpool boss to regret that call, however, with the manager choosing to make a substitute before his players had even peeled the skins off their half-time oranges.
Keita slumped dejected on the bench after his withdrawal and surely Liverpool have to consider his future at the club beyond the summer transfer window.
The 26-year-old was signed by the Reds in 2018 from RB Leipzig. Liverpool parted with £48 million to sign the midfielder and frankly, he’s never looked like producing the goods.
One of the major problems with Keita is that he can’t seem to keep himself fit. Of course, no player chooses to be injured but it’s an alarming trait that Liverpool have to consider.
He has played just 76 times for the club and has missed several games during 2020/21 with a troublesome ankle problem.
Liverpool’s title defence has been nothing short of a catastrophe and Klopp will hope to add some players in the summer.
In order to do that though, he might have to first offload some and raise some funds towards a recruitment drive.
Keita earns £120,000-a-week at Anfield and right now he’s failing to justify such a wage to the football club.
The Guinea captain wasn’t the only poor performer against Real Madrid on Tuesday. It was the level of his perhaps which perhaps proved the most alarming aspect of the defeat, however.