Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits the “outstanding” Naby Keita has yet to reproduce the form that persuaded him to sign the midfielder — but says he has a bright future at Anfield.
The 23-year-old started his Liverpool career brightly and has made 18 appearances so far this season but he has failed to feature in the past three matches for the Premier League leaders.
However, Klopp is prepared to give the Guinea international, who arrived from RB Leipzig during the summer, time to adapt.
“I spoke to Naby. Everything is fine. I am completely happy with Naby,” said the Liverpool boss.
“Could he be a bit more confident in the games? Yes. Is he exactly the player in his best time at Leipzig? No. He is still adapting, that’s how it is.
“Everyone saw at the beginning of the season how brilliant he played.”
Klopp said minor injury problems had held the player back but he was a welcome addition to the squad.
“It is so good and I am looking forward to our common future,” he said. “You see it every day, wow, there is so much to come and there is so much influence he can have on each game.”
He added: “There is really no doubt about the boy, he is an outstanding player.”
Keita is likely to get a start in the FA Cup tie at Wolves on Monday as one of a number of players in need of pitch time.
Another of those is Adam Lallana, who has also had his struggles with injuries.
“I can tell you it is a good opportunity for all the players,” added Klopp. “Adam is actually in outstanding shape. It’s unbelievable. It was close in the last game whether we started him or not. He is really, really good.”