The awkward truth about how Jordan Henderson compares to Naby Keita this season

With every frustrating performance like the one against West Brom, Liverpool fans are looking forward to the arrival of Naby Keita more and more.

The Reds spent much of the summer chasing the RB Leipzig midfielder and finally agreed a club record £48million fee with the Bundesliga side.

The one stipulation of that was that he wouldn’t actually be moving to Merseyside until July 2018.

Jurgen Klopp has long been searching for a target who could bolster his central midfield, and well, if they could chip in with goals too, that would be a huge bonus.

The Guinea international has five to his name this season, though it’s his apparent lack of discipline which has attracted more headlines.
Earlier in the campaign, he was sent off three times in seven matches for club and country, which will give Klopp some serious food for thought on how to iron that erratic streak out of his game when he finally gets to Anfield.

In most departments, it’s very easy to see why Liverpool supporters have been getting quite so excited about the 22-year-old, especially with question marks against some of their current midfield options.

A series of stats has been doing the rounds comparing Keita to Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Emre Can, and Georginio Wijnaldum.


Perhaps he’ll even prove to be Can’s replacement, with the reported Juventus target yet to put pen to paper on a new deal.

Regardless of who he comes in for, though, this suggests he’s going to make a massive difference:

It’s fair to say it’ll make most uncomfortable reading for Henderson, the club skipper, as he fails to beat Keita in a single category.

Wijnaldum and Milner have been employed in various positions, while Can could be on his way out – so Henderson is the obvious comparison to make.

It’s a little concerning that the England international has only made just over a tackle a game this term.

However, the main takeaway has to be what Keita brings to the table.

Following the fanfare of last season, Leipzig haven’t been as consistent this time around and crashed out of the Champions League having been able to progress beyond the groups.

At an individual level too, Keita hasn’t quite looked the player he was during their meteoric rise, yet these statistics should still be cause for optimism at Liverpool.