KEITA STATS 18/19
Minutes played: 1,817
Games missed through injury: 11
Manager Jurgen Klopp had admitted Keita was a doubt for this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations but Put believes his star man will be fit and ready to play against Egypt this weekend after joining up with his fellow countrymen.
‘Keita leaves [Liverpool] after training in the morning and arrives Monday [evening],’ he told told Foot224.
‘I put a lot of pressure on Liverpool to [send him] as soon as possible.
‘In the end, I said that if Naby does not come now, it will be difficult to put [him on] the list for Africa Cup of Nations. He said he will play against Egypt.’
Keita arrived at Liverpool last summer from RB Leipzig and initially struggled to settle on Merseyside.
After forcing his way back into the starting 11, Keita’s form began to improve and he scored three goals in his last six games of the season.
After he responded well to treatment, Klopp believed that although the Champions League final wasn’t realistic he would be fit enough for this summer’s tournament.
‘Naby is, I would say, a bit ahead of schedule, but that doesn’t mean anything for the final,’ the German told liverpoolfc.com last month.
‘He is now doing straight runs and all of that stuff, he feels comfortable with 50 per cent intensity and these things – but there is still a way to go.
‘I know about the issues with Guinea and stuff like that; we don’t want to keep a player out if he can play – maybe they think it is like this, but it is not like this.
‘For me, it would be good if Naby would be 100 per cent fit and could play the Africa Cup of Nations, to be honest.
‘But we don’t know, we will see, and we need to work together with their medical department because in the end, a player who is fit – from my point of view – who can play, should play for his country.
‘If he is not 100 per cent fit, he cannot play. That’s how it is. It looks good, very positive and we will see if there is a chance.’
Guinea begin the tournament in Egypt as outsiders and they will play against Madagascar, Burundi and Nigeria in Group B.