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Keita is 'an incredible player' but will take time to reach best form for Liverpool, Klopp warns

09:02 BST 26/09/2019
NabyKeita - cropped
The Guinean star completed 63 minutes in the Reds' EFL Cup win at MK Dons last night – his first appearance since early August

Jurgen Klopp urged patience with Naby Keita after the Liverpool midfielder made his return to action during Wednesday's 2-0 EFL Cup win over MK Dons.

The Guinea international has been sidelined with a muscular problem since early August, meaning his only previous appearance this season came in the Community Shield meeting with Manchester City.

James Milner and teenage defender Ki-Jana Hoever got the goals, while youngster Harvey Elliott caught the eye in Liverpool's victory at Stadium MK.

It was sometimes heavier going for Keita during his 63 minutes on the field, but Klopp insisted that was to be expected.

"Obviously he looked good in moments, he looked really good in moments, but he has to adapt to the position again," he told reporters.

"You see it with Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] as well. Naturally, you move much more and stuff like this, you find each other much more, but that's how it is.

"He was out for a while, but in moments you saw what an incredible player he is and how important he will be for us.

"We don't have to rush it now hopefully, but we can use him now and that's good, good for us. There's a long season to go and everything will be fine."

Keita's next opportunity to get some minutes under his belt comes on Saturday, when leaders Liverpool travel to Sheffield United in the Premier League.

The Reds have stormed five points clear at the top of the table, after winning all six of their games at the start of the new season.

After their trip to Brammall Lane, Klopp's men will prepare for a Champions League showdown against Red Bull Salzburg at Anfield on October 2.