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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: 'Guinea rely on Naby Keita' – Issiaga Sylla

10:29 PM GMT+4 25/06/2019
Naby Keita - Guinea
The Liverpool midfielder was introduced as a the second half substitute when Syli Nationale dropped points in their Afcon opener

Toulouse full-back Issiaga Sylla has talked up the importance of captain Naby Keita to Guinea’s campaign at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Keita overcame initial injury fears with his timely return, to lead the West African country to their 12th appearance in the continental tournament.

He started on the bench against Madagascar on Saturday, but was introduced for Mady Camara in the 62nd minute.

Keita’s introduction was not enough to inspire the Syli Nationale to victory in Alexandria, and Sylla admitted that the Liverpool midfielder is a tremendous boost for them when he is on the field.

“It's not that without Naby Keita we could not win the match. But when you have a player like that, who can bring you something, it's important that he's next to you,” Sylla was quoted as saying by Foot 224.

“Everyone knows the qualities of Naby Keita that's why we rely on him because he can bring us something.”

It remains to be seen if Keita will be handed a starter’s shirt when Paul Put’s men take on Nigeria for their second Group B game at the Alexandria Stadium on Wednesday.

The Syli Nationale are second in the group with one point after their opening game.