Keïta provides Klopp with solution to Liverpool's midfield problem

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Mon, 30/01/2023
Keïta provides Klopp with solution to Liverpool's midfield problem
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Jürgen Klopp's midfield woes have been as persistent as a toothache this season. And the longer it persists, the larger the gap in Liverpool's midfield becomes. Solutions are difficult to come by, but it appears that Liverpool will not go to the doctors anytime soon in the January transfer window, preferring to wait until the summer for surgery.

That means Klopp will have to solve the club's problems internally, and while there is no way to avoid a rotten tooth, the pain can be relieved with some home remedies, one of which Liverpool may have discovered against Brighton.

Klopp's Liverpool starting midfield had remained unchanged for the third game in a row. That hasn't happened much this season, but it could be a sign that Klopp has finally found a winning formula.

It's an unconventional midfield, and one that few Liverpool fans expected to see at the start of the season. At the heart of it is Stefan Bajeti, an academy graduate from Kirkby who has taken advantage of Fabinho's erratic form this season and provided some midfield stability in the last three games.

Thiago Alcântara, the midfielder who has carried Liverpool on his back, is on the left, and he is probably the only Liverpool midfielder who cannot be accused of slacking off this season.

The biggest surprise is Klopp's right-sided midfielder. Naby Keita's enigmatic presence at Anfield has been one of football's biggest mysteries. A player who had never had a niggling injury in his entire career has been plagued by them since moving to Merseyside. As a result, his career in a red shirt has stalled. It's been a strange and wild ride for the Guinean, from flashes of brilliance to strings of mind-boggling performances of incompetence.

But the fact remains that, when at his best and fully fit, Keita is one of Liverpool's top midfielders, as Brighton demonstrated. His best moment came in the middle of the park when he dispossessed Brighton and set up Mohamed Salah with a sublime pass, who then squared it to Harvey Elliott to score Liverpool's first goal.

The second was most likely after he had left the pitch. Liverpool struggled to control the game as well in his absence as they did when Keita was in charge, and Klopp should consider the Guinean's performance.

He is the solution Liverpool requires, but it is a solution that will raise questions. Many players will be concerned about their contract expiring at the end of the season. Even one last hurrah will almost certainly not be enough to redeem himself and earn a new contract. Could it be?

Only Klopp could have the answer. But one thing is certain: the Keïta, Thiago and Bajčetić midfield could be Liverpool's solution to burying the pain for the rest of the season in what will be a long and arduous campaign.