By Connor Varnish – @cvarn4
Over a quarter of the season has passed and Liverpool still find themselves struggling to “click” up front, and are yet to find their optimal midfield three.
With players coming in and out off the side due to injury, not one player, barring Georginio Wijnaldum, has appeared to truly grasp hold of a spot in the middle of the field.
With Liverpool’s early season attacking woes appearing to continue, it’s become evident how much the Reds are missing a man such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Philippe Coutinho in their side to drive the ball forward and ultimately connect the midfield to attack.
Last year’s dynamism in front of goal feels as far from the current Liverpool side as it ever has. As the season’s progressed, and the performances coupled with the results have been less impress, it’s become clear that Liverpool is missing that creative spark from the midfield.
Although the Reds have managed a club record 27 points through 11 played in the Premier League, and still control their own fate in the Champions League, there’s no denying that we haven’t really played good football yet – or at least what we hoped we would see from a team as capable as this one.
If Liverpool are serious title contenders, we absolutely need to figure out our midfield dilemma sooner rather than later.
With the January transfer window still over seven weeks away, and with no guarantee that a certain Nabil Fekir, or another player in that mould, is guaranteed to join us, Liverpool will have to look from within to correct the imbalance between midfield and attack.
One man Liverpool are desperate for to answer that call is 23 year old Guinean, Naby Keita. He’s been battling a hamstring issue for just short of a month now, but looks poised to return to the Reds as soon as possible.
Keita arrived at Liverpool this past summer after a massively successful spell in the Bundesliga – and while he hasn’t lived up to his hype as of yet in Red, there’s still plenty of time impress the Anfield faithful.
The Guinean has looked a step behind nearly every time he’s been involved for Liverpool apart from his performance against West Ham on the opening day of the season. Throw in a few slight injuries here and there and you’ve got the perfect combination for an inconsistent few months to start off your debut season.
Liverpool fans, however, will be hoping that Keita is finally fully fit in order for him to get back to his scintillating form we saw in Germany.
Just last year the Guinean was voted the second best player in the Bundesliga behind Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski – so we all know the talent is in there, we just need to figure out how to tap into it, and fast. Now must be the time for him to inspire our underwhelming attack and link our midfield and front three.
Naby Keita caught the eye of Liverpool with his driving runs forward from midfield, his ability to threaten anywhere near the opposition goal with his long shots, and his overall resourcefulness on the ball – Liverpool is crying out for this kind of player in its midfield as it’s painstakingly uninventive at the moment.
With a struggling Fulham travelling to Anfield this Sunday, we’d hope to see Naby truly kick start his Liverpool career and play a key role in triggering Liverpool’s attack from the midfield.