PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita - Drop in form a concern for RB Leipzig

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita - Drop in form a concern for RB Leipzig
Leipzig's Naby Keita celebrates scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League group G soccer match between RB Leipzig and Besiktas Istanbul in Leipzig, Germany, 06 December 2017. EPA/FILIP SINGER

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Feb 08, 2018. 16:00

Guinea and RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita has been told to pull up his socks by his club manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Although the 22-year-old remains a crucial player for the Bundesliga outfit, his coach has noticed a drop in quality since he agreed to move to English Premier League side Liverpool.

Hasenhuttl says the Syli Nationale international has lost some of the consistency that made him a Bundesliga star last season.


Keita proved to be a sensation in the 2016/17 season as the Red Bull Arena outfit finished second in their debut German top-flight campaign, scoring eight goals and providing seven assists in 31 appearances.

However, his coach has noticed a difference in his performances this term and hopes to see him back to his best in the coming weeks, but he insisted he will not be too harsh on the Guinea international.

"Naby is not as consistent this year as last year," Hasenhuttl told Sport Bild. "It's important that he brings his expectations back to normal levels.

"I'm not one who wants to motivate with fear. I don't immediately get the whip out in the classic sense and I don't kick the players non-stop.”

Leipzig currently occupy the third spot in the Bundesliga, level on points with Bayer Leverkusen, but 18 behind leaders Bayern Munich.

The 22-year-old's remarkable displays attracted immense interest from the Reds and he will head to Anfield in the summer after Liverpool triggered his £48 million release clause in August 2017.

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