Former Liverpool defender claims Naby Keita and Ibrahima Konate have ‘big problems’


Former Liverpool defender Markus Babbel says Naby Keita and Ibrahima Konate have had ‘big problems’ since they arrived at Anfield. The German international insists a number of players struggled after they left RB Leipzig.

Keita joined the Reds in the summer of 2018 but is yet to nail down a regular starting spot under manager Jurgen Klopp, largely down to difficulty with injuries. However, the Guinea international has still made 100 appearances in all competitions in a little under four years with the club.

Amid a defensive injury crisis last season, Konate was identified as the ideal solution and was signed for £36m in the summer. He may have Joel Matip to contend with to partner Virgil van Dijk, but the Frenchman has impressed when called upon this term.

Babbel, though, says it’s no surprise the pair have struggled since they left Germany as Leipzig have ‘their own style of play’. He also picked out Dayot Upamecano and Marcel Sabitzer as other players that have struggled for form away from the Red Bull Arena.

When asked why this was the case, he told Sky in Germany : “It’s really amazing when you look at the recent transfers from RB Leipzig. Whether it was a Keita or a Konate to Liverpool, both have big problems there. And now also Upamecano.

“With Marcel Sabitzer, you could think that the Sabitzer in Munich is a twin brother of the Sabitzer in Leipzig. Sometimes you think he’s never played football. These guys all find it very difficult when they leave Leipzig because they have their own style of play there.”