Liverpool’s latest summer signing, Naby Keita, has the potential to eclipse his new team-mates when it comes to bonus points on Fantasy Premier League season.
The central midfielder’s style of play is suited to success on the Bonus Points System (BPS), which will combine very well with his goal involvement potential too.
We’ve assessed his chances of earning a place in our FPL squads in 2018/19.
Busy midfielder Keita has been described as a complete midfield player capable of big things. He can play a good pass, runs and dribbles very quickly, and helps win possession back too. His exceptional ability has ensured that in just five years he has gone from playing in his home country of Guinea to the Bundesliga, and now the Premier League. In that time his qualities have seen him make his international debut for Guinea and score five goals in 28 caps.
However, Keita is more than just another midfield general to go unrecognised by Fantasy football points-scoring. In 59 league appearances for Red Bull Salzburg he found the net 17 times and assisted another nine goals. In his final season with RB Leipzig Keita registered six goals and five assists, more than any of Liverpool’s central midfielders in 2017/18.
Keita’s most recent campaign saw him deployed in various different positions within the midfield, showing his versatility. He played 17 matches in all competitions as a defensive midfielder, still recording three goals and three assists from that position. 12 matches saw him as a standard central midfielder (two goals, three assists), while another four had him as a more advanced attacker (two goals, one assist).
Keita had more shots on goal than any of his new team-mates, registering 1.6 per match; Giorginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were the next best with 1.2.
Only Oxlade-Chamberlain (1.1) came close to Keita’s key passes per match of 1.4. For dribbles, Keita nearly doubled Wijnaldum and Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 1.3 per match with his 2.5.
Defensively, Keita’s performances were strong too, registering 2.4 tackles per match. Only Emre Can bettered that in the Liverpool midfield in 2017/18.
We can expect to see the best of Keita from a Fantasy perspective in 2018/19. The Guinea international should push for a start at Liverpool with his key statistics last season considerably better than anyone else who operated for the Reds in central midfield.
Fellow new recruit Fabinho looks set to provide protection for the defence in a deeper role in Jurgen Klopp’s favoured 4-3-3 system, allowing Keita to play slightly further forward. Based on his past record and playing style, we can expect him to contribute to goals and assists.
But where Keita really stands out is his potential for bonus points. The aforementioned actions (shots, key passes, dribbles and tackles) all contribute to a player’s BPS score for matches. If Keita continues success in those areas into the Premier League then he will amass plenty of bonus points, especially if he is scoring and assisting goals too.
With Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane still expected to be the main source of goals and assists in the Liverpool team, Keita will probably be more of a mid-price midfielder, increasing his potential value even more.