Naby Keita started for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool as they sealed a narrow Champions League victory against KRC Genk at Anfield.

Almost a year and a half into Naby Keita’s Liverpool career, the Anfield faithful is still no closer to making up their collective minds about the £52.75 million man.

And his performance in Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League victory over Genk arguably posed more questions than answers.

Keita has flitted between influential and anonymous in recent weeks as Jurgen Klopp aims to eke some much-needed consistency out of a player who was arguably the Bundesliga’s most impressive all-round midfielder during his heady days at RB Leipzig.

Keita was exceptional away at Genk two weeks ago, kicking off the game with an ingenious pass with his back, a move straight out of the Ronaldinho playbook, before flopping fading from view during that mad 5-5 EFL Cup draw with Arsenal.

In truth, his latest outing on Tuesday night against the Belgian champions was probably somewhere in between. Keita was at his brilliant, barnstorming best as he helped set up Gini Wijanldum’s opener with a trademark driving run but he faded badly in the second half, caughing up possession at a remarkable rate, before being hooked with a quarter of an hour to go.

The potential is clear to see but Keita is still a million miles away from the all-action enforcer who dominated games in the Bundesliga with his unique blend of physical and technical gifts.

No wonder the Anfield crowd aren’t sure what to make of him.


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