What would former Barcelona star offer to Liverpool's midfield?

Anfield Pitch

Liverpool have been heavily linked with a swoop for former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita - but what would he offer to the Reds?

Liverpool saw their title bid falter in the final weeks of the season but Brendan Rodgers can still be content with taking the club from seventh to second in just one year, and now the Reds can add depth to their squad as they face the rigours of balancing Premier League and Champions League commitments.

Rodgers has already clinched the signing of Southampton striker Rickie Lambert, but he must also consider bringing in midfield reinforcements alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen - especially with the latter duo linked with moves away from the club.

One of the main names tipped to be targeted by the Reds is former Barcelona star Seydou Keita. The Malian international, now 34, spurned a move to Anfield in the January transfer window in favour of moving back to Spain with Valencia, but reports suggest that Keita is now looking to join a club who can offer him Champions League football after his short-term deal with Valencia expired.

Keita is well known figure after featuring with Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, but what exactly would he offer to Rodgers' men?

Liverpool's midfielders performed well last season as the club challenged for the title, but they were sometimes overwhelmed physically - as we saw when the club collapsed to a 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace having been 3-0 up - a result which ultimately cost the club the Premier League crown.

Keita, even though he's now well into his 30's, still offers physicality with strength, stamina and energy - attributes which helped him become such an important part of Guardiola's squad at the Camp Nou as he offered something different to the existing crop of midfielders - a situation which would be similar at Anfield.

Keita's experience, physicality and technical attributes would be a welcome addition to the Reds, as he will be content with doing his defensive duties whilst the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and of course Luis Suarez focus on their attacking play.

It may not be a fashionable signing, and Keita would be another ageing midfielder alongside Steven Gerrard, but he offers different qualities that the club don't currently have - and on a free, he provides crucial Champions League experience for the club.

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