Let's roll the clock back to 2005 Champions League finals when Liverpool which was spearheaded by Rafa Benitez fielded Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard in the midfield. The two had an amazing chemistry, to say the least, and were once in a generation type players. Fast forward to 2017 when Jordan Henderson and Emre Can form the midfield pivot and clearly, we can see that they are going to have problems in Europe.
Although we do feel Jordan Henderson has come a long way and is quite underrated considering the abilities he has, the same cannot be said of Emre Can and perhaps that's why Klopp has earmarked this £70 million midfielder Naby Keita to be the one who'll carry the baton. Although Keita has a different skill set than what was offered by Xabi Alonso or Gerrard, he's the missing puzzle in Liverpool's midfield puzzle, a puzzle that can lead to European glory.
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Keita has been Klopp's top midfield priority and second overall priority signing after Virgil Van Dijk. Although now hopes of signing Van Dijk are grim, thanks to Southampton's complaint and Liverpool's public apology, the hopes of signing Keita are boosted as Liverpool are ready to match the asking price of £70 million.
But why are they spending so much money on him? These nine stats prove that he's worth the price
We all know that Klopp loves a driving and dribbling midfielder and Naby Keita's this stat proves just that. Only Borussia Dortmund's Moussa Dembele (3.2) made more dribbles per game in the 2016/17 season than Keita's 2.7.
Keita has made seven assists in the last Bundesliga season. No Liverpool player barring Wijnaldum (nine) got more in the league. Although Premier League is much more difficult, it's an impressive stat to boast of.
Keita netted the ball eight times in the league and this can only be bettered by Mohamed Salah, Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the current Liverpool squad.
In 31 Bundesliga appearances in 2016/17, he either scored or assisted a goal 15 times
Keita was a part of Bundesliga fans' team of the season, securing second highest votes, only outscored by Robert Lewandowski.
According to Whoscored.com, Keita has been the fifth best player in Bundesliga behind only Thiago Alcantara, Arjen Robben, Emil Forsberg, and Lewandowski.
Keita made 80 tackles last year in Bundesliga, which were the sixth highest in the league. Something Klopp is feasting his eyes on.
He made 81 interceptions in the league last season, again the sixth highest in the league.
Keita was named Austrian Bundesliga Player Of The Year last season. Not bad for a 22-year-old!
So there it is, these were the nine stats that makes him the perfect fit for Liverpool and worth the price. Want to know more about Liverpool transfer rumors? Subscribe!