By 90Min
September 22, 2019

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has given an update on Naby Keita's return to fitness, claiming that the 24-year-old is 'close' to making a comeback to first-team duties.

Keita has been sidelined since sustaining a hip strain before the UEFA Super Cup final against Chelsea in Istanbul last month.

The Guinea international returned to first-team training on Friday but Klopp explained the mid-week trip to MK Dons is a more realistic comeback than Sunday's Premier League meeting with Chelsea.

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In quotes on the Liverpool website, the German stated: “He [Keita] is close but the matchday squad is not yet the target. It is a few sessions training with the team.


“We’d only put him in [at Chelsea] if we didn’t have enough players but I hope we will have enough players for the matchday squad. Wednesday is the target I will say and then we will see.”

Formerly a standout performer in the Bundesliga, Keita moved to Merseyside in the summer of 2018 in a £54m deal from RB Leipzig and was expected to have an instant impact in Liverpool's push for the Premier League title.

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However, the energetic midfielder's time at Anfield has been marred by several injury niggles, while, when fit, he has struggled to merit a regular starting berth in the Reds stacked midfield.

With Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all fighting for minutes in midfield, Keita faces strong competition when he returns. 

Prior to his fitness issues at the business end of 2018/19, Keita had begun to show flashes of his best form, scoring against Southampton, Huddersfield and Porto in April, before sustaining a season-ending thigh injury.

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