Dietmar Hamann questions Liverpool FC’s decision regarding Naby Keita
Dietmar Hamann believes Liverpool FC made a mistake by giving Naby Keita the number eight shirt
Dietmar Hamann has criticised Liverpool FC’s decision to give Naby Keita the number eight shirt.
The Reds handed the Guinea international the prestigious shirt number following his £52.75m move to Liverpool FC from RB Leipzig in the 2018 summer transfer window.
The 25-year-old arrived in the Premier League with big reputation following his return of 14 goals in 58 games in the Bundesliga during his two-year stint in Germany.
But Keita has struggled to hit the ground running since his move to Liverpool FC as the African midfielder continues to be hampered by persistent injury problems.
The Liverpool FC number eight did get his hands on the Champions League trophy last season – and Keita has contributed one goal and one assist in four starts and five substitute appearances in the Premier League this term.
Former Reds star Hamann believes that the shirt number has hindered Keita’s progress at Anfield given that his predecessor in the number eight was Steven Gerrard.
“You can’t do anything about the transfer fee. In fact, when a club pays that much for you it should give you a lot of confidence,” Hamann told The Athletic, as quoted by Metro.
“But, looking back, I don’t think picking that shirt number was the best idea. That probably put more pressure on Keita.
“People maybe didn’t compare him to Steven but that No 8 shirt – similar to the No 7 one – weighs a bit heavier than the other shirts at Liverpool.”
Liverpool FC agreed a deal to sign Keita in 2017 before the Guinea international moved to the 18-time English champions 12 months later.
Keita has scored six times in 51 games in all competitions during his two seasons at the Merseyside outfit so far.
Liverpool FC improved their midfield options with the signing of Japan international Takumi Minamino in the January transfer window.