Why an early Liverpool move for Naby Keïta could be a bad idea
Philippe Coutinho recently sealed a £142 million move to Barcelona, with the club presenting him as their player for the first time at the Camp Nou. Back at Liverpool, the difficult task of life without him begins, with the club potentially seeking to replace the Brazilian this month.
Rumour has it that the Reds are interested in sanctioning a deal to bring Red Bull Leipzig midfielder Naby Keïta to Anfield, six months before the player is expected to arrive, following an agreement between both clubs last summer.
It would certainly be a move that excites many connected with the club, whilst potentially filling the void left by Coutinho's departure, however, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea.
There's a lot at stake; Will it be worth it?
Liverpool are still competing on three fronts this season, with good progress and silverware at stake for Jürgen Klopp's men.
Bringing Keïta in early won't completely guarantee them success in these competitions, as for starters, the midfielder wouldn't even be eligible to feature for them in the Champions League, as he would be cup-tied having already played for Leipzig in Europe's grand tournament this season.
The Guinean may be a perfect fit for Klopp's team, but will surely need time to adapt to life in England, as well as get up to speed with his new side's style of football - like it or not, the importance of that cannot be under-estimated.
Joining Liverpool in the January transfer window may not give the midfielder the time needed to do that, as he would be expected to slot into the team and make an immediate impact.
One could fairly argue new defender Virgil van Dijk's immediate success at Anfield, however, given the Dutchman's three-year experience in English football, it can be said that he was always geared to be an instant hit with his new club. The same arguably can't be said for his future teammate.
Allow him to shine, and then sign
Naby Keïta stands a strong chance of finishing the season on a high with RB Leipzig. With a fair bit of the season to go, why not give him a chance to shine in the Bundesliga until the originally decided-upon time comes?
Leipzig may not have found success in their Champions League group, finishing third, but they still receive the consolation of a run in the Europa League.
The German club also sit fifth in the Bundesliga, just two points off second place - where they impressively finished following promotion from the second-tier last season - so selling their star midfielder would be just as much a bad idea for them, as they risk derailing their campaign.
Keeping faith in the team that they have could still yield a successful campaign for Liverpool, as the Merseyside club still have capable game-changers in their squad, though, that may not stop the rumours that persist about a possible replacement for Coutinho being bought this month.
If it is indeed Keïta who they trust to carry the burden, the decision will be risky, but both manager and club, will be due great praise if it ultimately works out.
Disclaimer: This article presents the views of the author and does not necessarily reflect Sportskeeda's opinion on the matter.