As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Liverpool boss Klopp reveals Keita crunch talks: He needed to know I believed in him

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits holding talks with Naby Keita before his recall for victory over Bournemout on Saturday.

The German explained why Keita has had to be patient for his first team opportunity.

“Not at all, he's just been unlucky and in life you need luck always," Klopp said when asked if he'd had any doubts about his £52.75m signing. “He started really well. Everyone forgot that and then he got injured and we've had two really good seasons.

“When you see a player like this, you ask why is he not playing week in, week out. Naby had injuries and then the team was in a really good shape so do you change?

“It's not like when something's working, you squeeze five more percent of the performance with another player.

“If you want to change, we are not flying. It's not as though we have won all our games four or five nil so we've had to bring on a player who will help us with set-pieces, defending set-pieces."

Klopp also admitted to holding talks with Keita and having to reassure him his opportunity would come during his time on the sidelines.

“Naby's not been playing, I get that," he said. "So we stayed in contact and spoke a lot about it and in the end a player needs to have this evidence that his manager still believes in him.

“I was never in doubt about him and today has helped a lot, it's really nice. Sometimes you have to talk to players.

“The boys got more and more used to each other, but then another injury came and he started again.

“This year, he wasn't 100 percent when he started pre-season, but I was never in doubt about quality."

About the author

Paul Vegas

Have your say

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free