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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:12 pm 
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by Ryan Baldi | 31 October, 2017
Tactical analysis: Examining what Naby Keita will bring to Liverpool


Much has been made of Naby Keïta’s streak of indiscipline after the midfielder received three red cards in the space of seven games for club and country – a period spanning just 39 days. Some have suggested Liverpool fans, who will welcome the Guinean midfielder to Anfield at the end of the current season, should be concerned by the 22-year-old’s perceived over-aggressiveness and inability to keep himself on the pitch for 90 minutes.

But Keita’s run of red cards is likely nothing more than an anomaly, with all three – one for a Sadio Mané-esque high boot against Borussia Mönchengladbach, another for a swipe of the arm on international duty and the last for two yellows against Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal – completely different infringements, unrelated and unlikely to be replicated in such quick succession again.

Liverpool supporters are right to look forward to Keïta’s arrival on Merseyside, their anticipation not dampened by the flurry of dismissals. The RB Leipzig star, for whom the Reds have agreed to pay a premium on top of a £47m release clause in order to beat other interested parties to the Bundesliga standout for the 2018/19 campaign onwards, has all the attributes to transform the Reds into something altogether more cohesive, robust and threatening.

Keïta starred in the Red Bull-owned club’s remarkable run to a second-place finish in their first ever Bundesliga campaign last season, having moved across from the Salzburg arm of the energy drink manufacturer’s football network for around £11.75m upon the East German side’s promotion to the top flight.

As one of the two deep central midfielders in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s 4-2-2-2 system, the former FC Istres man, who grew up idolising Porto and Barcelona legend Deco, was at the heart of RBL’s unanticipated rise up the table. As the box-to-box dynamo of Leipzig’s organised and intense unit, he was the man tasked with pressing in co-ordination with his team-mates, breaking up opposition attacks and aiding quick transitions by springing offensive moves from deep – all tasks that he will be required to replicate under Klopp.

In the Bundesliga last season, Keïta averaged 3.1 interceptions per 90 minutes, a figure no Liverpool player could match in the Premier League – Lucas Leiva was closest with 2.9 – and one he has maintained so far this term. He also made three tackles per 90 last term – again, a return no Liverpool with more than 85 minutes of action to their name could better – while he has taken that average to a staggering 4.1 per 90 in 2017/18.

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Above, we see Keïta’s sharp pressing instincts. He identifies the Stuttgart player in space on the edge of the midfield zone and, knowing there is no immediate threat behind him, recognises he can safely move to close the player down – a split-second calculation made before the move has even begun.

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Lightning quick over short distances, he instantly puts pressure on the opponent as he receives the ball, making a clean challenge and recovering possession in an area of the pitch from which Leipzig can quickly transition into attack – a hallmark of Klopp’s counter-pressing sides.

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Having won the ball, Keïta finds striker Yussuf Poulsen on the edge of the Stuttgart penalty area and moves forward to support the attack.

A more proficient ball-winner than both Jordan Henderson and Emre Can, the two Liverpool players with the deepest midfield remit, Keïta will aid the Reds in their work without the ball and offer additional defensive support.

However, he is certainly not a defensive midfielder; Keïta is far too effective an offensive force to be termed as such, and he could have an even greater impact on Liverpool’s attacking play. The Merseysiders lack a midfield player with top-class ball-progression ability: Georginio Wijnaldum is athletic and intelligently times runs into the box but isn’t involved enough in deeper zones; Henderson has a decent range of passing but lacks athleticism and can be risk-averse; while Can carries out most tasks well without being dynamic.

Keïta offers everything the Liverpool midfield currently does well, but with the added x-factor of being truly dynamic and instinctively creative. He is strong and an excellent dribbler, which makes him press resistant and able to drift away from opponents in a way most midfielders cannot.

He also has an incredible knack of playing defence-splitting passes while in full flight, catching opposing backlines on the hop. All of this will help the Reds become quicker and more efficient in transition, and able to get the ball to the likes of Mané, Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah in areas where they are most dangerous.

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Here, in Leipzig’s recent 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund, we see Keïta’s magnificent dribbling and passing ability in full effect, the Guinean single-handedly carrying his team 70 yards up the pitch to threaten the opposition’s goal. He receives the ball deep inside his own half and immediate looks to power forward, dribbling away from the BVB man who comes to close him down.

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He then utilises his pace to drive through midfield, all the while showing excellent close control to protect possession.

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As he approaches the final third, he spots the run of Jean-Kévin Augustin and releases the French striker with a well-weighted through ball, played while still in full stride.

Keïta’s attacking contribution last season yielded eight goals and seven assists in 31 Bundesliga appearances. This term, he only has one goal and one assists from seven outings, with his offensive duties reduced following the arrivals of Augustin and speedy Portuguese winger Bruma.

But he remains key to the way Leipzig break down their opposition, increasing the amount of accurate short passes he is making per 90 minutes (43.2, up from 41.5) and the amount of key passes per 90 (from 1.5 to 1.6), as well as making more successful dribbles (from 3.1 to four) and taking more long shots (1.5 up from 0.7) per 90.

In terms of weaknesses, he can occasionally get caught ahead of the ball, and, as has been the case recently, his aggression can slightly overspill. But Keïta is a phenomenal talent whose impact at Liverpool will be wide-ranging; the kind of all-round midfielder not seen at Anfield since (whisper it) Steven Gerrard.

https://www.bundesliga.com/en/news/Bund ... 473425.jsp

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Form is temporary; Class is Permanent!
Liverpool, European Champions 2005.

We watched this very boring video, 500 times, of Sacchi doing defensive drills, using sticks and without the ball, with Maldini, Baresi and Albertini. We used to think before then that if the other players are better, you have to lose. After that we learned anything is possible – you can beat better teams by using tactics." Jurgen Klopp


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:23 pm 
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Naby Keita: 10 things on RB Leipzig's Liverpool-bound Guinea midfielder

From the streets of Conakry to the bright lights of the Bundesliga, RB Leipzig star Naby Keita remains a grounded character.
From the streets of Conakry to the bright lights of the Bundesliga, RB Leipzig star Naby Keita remains a grounded character. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA


Naby Keita’s journey from selling water on the streets with his mum to dominating the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig is one of the most remarkable in football.

bundesliga.com draws a picture of the future Liverpool midfielder, who — for all his qualities — still has much to learn about wildlife…

1) Undimmed passion
Keita was born in the Guinean capital Conakry on 10 February, 1995. As a youngster, he could be seen alongside his mother, Miriam, selling ice-cool water on the streets of Conakry, and was only allowed to play football after completing his chores. “She has told me that anything that would fall from the table, whether it was a bottle of water or an orange, I would dribble with it,” Keita says of his mother, who visits him in Germany every three months. “Whatever was on the floor that I could kick, I would entertain myself with it. No matter where she would take me, I would do this.” This included local shops where Keita’s habit could prove costly: “There were a lot of round things to play football with. Unfortunately, there were also things like lampshades, which got broken. My mum always says that shopping with me was very expensive!”

2) Early struggles
Keita joined hometown club Horoya AC aged nine, journeying to France to try to further his career at 16. Lodging with future international teammate Guy-Michel Landel, the young hopeful had unsuccessful trials at Lorient and Le Mans. “It was more difficult than you could have imagined because everything other than the language was different,” Keita explained. “I did wonder if I would ever make it. It was such a tough time. You have your dream within touching distance, then it falls through and you have to start from the beginning again.”

3) Bobo boomer
He did that at a talent-spotting tournament organised by compatriot and former Celtic defender Bobo Balde in Marseille. Istres, then in France’s second division, were won over. “He had come from Guinea a few months earlier,” explained former Istres team-mate Fouad Chafik. “We saw Naby arrive one morning for training, and we all understood very quickly that he had something extra.” Four goals and nine assists in 22 games backed up the Istres squad’s judgement.

4) Wings over Salzburg
After a single season in France, Keita joined Austrian champions Salzburg, and quickly dispelled any notion that the step up in competition was one he would struggle to make. The box-to-box midfielder helped his new employers to the Last 32 of the UEFA Europa League — opening his European account against Balde’s former club Celtic on the way — before sealing back-to-back league and cup doubles with Die Roten Bullen, making it an unprecedented third in a row for the club.

5) Deco-rated player
Born Naby Laye Keita, his middle name has been replaced with ‘Deco’ on his social media channels. His father, Sekou, gave him the nickname as he thought his son’s game was similar to the two-time UEFA Champions League-winner midfielder. With Keita standing 5'8", his physique as well as his early passes and chipped through-balls are reminiscent of the former Porto and Barcelona man. Keita was such a fan that, when he was 11, he wanted his team to wear a Barcelona kit. Instead, however, they chose Liverpool…


6) Rangnick’s protege
Keita has gone down as one of Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick’s most brilliant and insightful moves. The former Schalke coach went to France to sign Keita for Salzburg, the start of a father-son-like relationship between the pair. “Rangnick told me I was like a koala that you want to hug. He often hugs me,” admitted Keita. “I don’t know exactly what a koala looks like. In fact, I often fear animals because in Guinea, a lot of them are dangerous.”

7) King of Conakry
Football keeps him in Europe for most of the year, but Keita does return to his home country where he is now one of the most recognisable faces in the country. “I always buy boots when I’m back for as many kids as I can because I know how much it can mean to have something so simple,” he explained. “I wanted to be Deco, Titi Camara or Pascal Feindouno when I was young, and now there are kids with my name on the back of their shirts! That is such a big motivation for me and I hope I continue to show them that with courage and determination, they can achieve anything.”

8) Tactics? What tactics?
He has become a national hero and global star through the central role he has played in Leipzig’s stunning start to life in the Bundesliga. Described as “a complete number 8” by Michel Dussuyer, the man who handed him his Guinea debut in 2014, it is hard to imagine Keita was initially rejected by clubs in France for his lack of tactical awareness. “When he has the ball at his feet, he’s a weapon. It’s crazy what he does,” gushed Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl after Keita’s benchmark-setting performance in the Matchday 8 3-1 win over Werder Bremen last season in which he scored twice. “Naby is picking up more and more on what we want and that there are other important things than just being good on the ball.”

9) Mane’s mate
Keita’s arrival in Salzburg also marked the start of a friendship with Senegal forward Sadio Mane, who talked his new team-mate through the difficult early stages of his spell in Mozart’s home town before his own departure for Southampton. “He helped me with everything - the language, making friends, understanding the club and the city,” explained Keita, who is three years Mane’s junior. “Sadio was important for me, he still is! To me, he’s my big brother. He really likes to learn new things, to improve and to push himself and we are the same in this way. He’s a good example for me.”

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Naby Keita (1st l.) and Sadio Mane (1st r.) overlaped for three months at Red Bull Salzburg in 2014. © imago

10) The Kop’s new Naby K
The pair will now be reunited at Anfield with Keita having already agreed to move to Liverpool next summer. The impending transfer has left Keita Sr., a lifelong Reds fan, delighted, but hasn’t had a negative effect on his son’s performances for Leipzig or his personality. “I’m not getting carried away,” insisted Keita. “I’m staying myself, because it gives hope to young Guineans who want to play football. But I advise them to work, to do as I have. As for me, I’m going to keep on working to become a lot better.”

That is bad news for English Premier League opponents, but music to the ears of Liverpool supporters, who will see Keita take possession of the number 8 shirt previously worn by club legend Steven Gerrard.

“You don’t just give the number 8 to anyone,” said Malick Kebe, the former president of Santoba FC, the club he convinced Keita to join after first spotting his potential in Conakry.

“They have given it to Naby, because he deserves it and have no fear: Naby is going to establish himself in England.”

https://www.bundesliga.com/en/news/Bund ... 473425.jsp

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Form is temporary; Class is Permanent!
Liverpool, European Champions 2005.

We watched this very boring video, 500 times, of Sacchi doing defensive drills, using sticks and without the ball, with Maldini, Baresi and Albertini. We used to think before then that if the other players are better, you have to lose. After that we learned anything is possible – you can beat better teams by using tactics." Jurgen Klopp


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:39 pm 
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Can't wait to have him in our team next season


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:46 pm 
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kbt wrote:
Can't wait to have him in our team next season

Which one be your team?Beloved?


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:47 pm 
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kajifu wrote:
kbt wrote:
Can't wait to have him in our team next season

Which one be your team?Beloved?



He moved on. :taunt:

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:49 pm 
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EPL will be even more competitive for [this season's] top 4 next season.

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 10:01 pm 
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So excited. You saw what and why Klopp was chasing and then got him.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 12:50 pm 
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Students of history will know that Guinean talent once ruled the continent of Africa. In the 70s clubs like Hafia Conakry and Horoya put their fear of God into club opposition across the continent and players with names like Sylla, Keita, Bangoura and Camara scared folks. The legend Papa Camara was APOY relegating names like Segun Odegbami and Jean Patrick Manga Onguene. Naby Keita is a reminder of that era. Glad he is joining us at Anfield. :thumb:


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 1:38 pm 
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kajifu wrote:
kbt wrote:
Can't wait to have him in our team next season

Which one be your team?Beloved?


Liverpool


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 8:41 pm 
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kbt wrote:
kajifu wrote:
kbt wrote:
Can't wait to have him in our team next season

Which one be your team?Beloved?


Liverpool

Are you guys allowing your assistant coach come to beloved?
How good is he?Will this expose Dean Klopp?

Good luck to you guys in CL final.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:56 pm 
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Kongi-certified useless! :boo:

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 6:19 pm 
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Form is temporary; Class is Permanent!
Liverpool, European Champions 2005.

We watched this very boring video, 500 times, of Sacchi doing defensive drills, using sticks and without the ball, with Maldini, Baresi and Albertini. We used to think before then that if the other players are better, you have to lose. After that we learned anything is possible – you can beat better teams by using tactics." Jurgen Klopp


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