Last season, RB Leipzig's Naby Keita was voted as German football's best midfielder by soccer magazine Kicker.
However after an underwhelming campaign so far, Keita has slipped down the rankings to 5th after a series of lacklustre displays, well published disciplinary problems and off the field issues.
The Guinean international is set to join Liverpool this summer for £51m, although mounting speculation has implied Keita is deliberately under-performing for RB Leipzig to force through his move during the current transfer window - this has been completely dismissed by the club.
Even with the club's early elimination from this season's Champions League Die Roten Bullen need to qualify for next season's competition and require their best players to help them finish in the Bundesliga's Top 4 to do so.
Reported by Kicker (via the Independent) former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Simon Rolfes believes Keita’s struggles had adversely affected his club. He added: “Keita has enormous potential... [but] he has not had the same impact that he did last season,
"Too often, he has been undisciplined and has harmed his team.”
Keita’s discipline was questioned earlier this season when he received three red cards in the space of just 39 days – two while playing for Leipzig, one while on international duty with Guinea.
The highly-rated midfielder encountered off-the-field problems too when he was fined £365,000 by a district court in November for allegedly using a forged Guinean driving license.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Red Bull side, who currently sit fifth in the Bundesliga, will desperately want to maintain Keita's services for the rest of the domestic campaign. Although he is not performing to the heights of last season, which the statistics show - form is temporary, class is always permanent.
The Liverpool supporters will find out for themselves when he is officially unveiled at the Anfield club in the months to come.