Midfielder who snubbed Liverpool sent off after just 24 minutes in Europa League

Mestalla Valencia

Seydou Keita claimed he snubbed Liverpool in January, but he certainly didn't help Valencia last night.

Former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita revealed in early February that he had rejected a late offer from Premier League side Liverpool ahead of deadline day.

The Malian international had been playing in Chinese club Dalian Aerbin, and signed in the end with La Liga side Valencia.

ESPN reported him as stating: "When we received the call from Valencia, talks with Liverpool were at a very advanced stage, but then I told my agent we were going to Valencia. I did not doubt for a second."

Well it hasn't really been a triumphant return to Spain for the 34-year-old defensive midfielder, who has made just three La Liga starts since his comeback.

In those matches he has a pass completion accuracy of just 79%, and has made the same number of fouls as he has interceptions (6), picking up two bookings, with Los Che gaining one point from their last two games.

They won in the Europa League last night, 3-0 away to Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad, but it was in no thanks to Keita.

The midfielder was handed an instant red card in just the 24th minute of the game for a push inside his own 18-yard box, giving away a penalty - which the home team missed. The sending off was harsh, but the challenge was a clumsy one.

Before this point he had touched the ball just 13 times. Valencia had to struggle on with 10-men, although managed to win out, with former Arsenal and Fulham centre-back Philippe Senderos finding the scoresheet.

It was though another example of his less than accomplished return to European football, and where Liverpool are concerned, missing out on him may not necessarily be a bad thing.

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