Naby Keita’s departure for Guinea game is ‘brilliant’, says Jurgen Klopp

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Last time out, the midfielder returned early after he picked up an injury and only returned against Fulham on Sunday afternoon

Naby Keita’s return for Guinea’s crucial 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying tie against Cote d’Ivoire is ‘brilliant’, according to Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp.

The German tactician, however, stated that he always prefer for his players to stay out of international games but as with Keita’s case, it would be a chance to get back to training and playing.

His last travel to Africa for national team duties in mid-October ended in an unfortunate manner, with the former RB Leipzig player joining a host of Liverpool players to return with an injury.

He was carried off against Rwanda due to a hamstring problem and the summer signing only returned to the action in the Reds’ 2-0 win over Fulham on Sunday afternoon, coming in late for Fabinho.

Asked if he would rather the player stay on the Merseyside, Klopp told reporters: “No. If you ask me, I always want them to stay here. But in this case, it's good for him. Guinea play just one game against Ivory Coast, and that's good for him.

“He is fit and has been in training for five days. Now he'll have another four or five days training and play a game. It's brilliant for him. I'm happy.

“Most of the players have only one game. England and Brazil have two games not too cool, and have the latest game as well on the Tuesday night. It's good that the Brazilians are at least in England and not somewhere so the stress of the travel won't be too much.

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“If a player is fit and is called up, then they go.”

A win over second-placed Cote d’Ivoire will seal Guinea’s place in Cameroon for 2019 Afcon as Group H leader, and with a game to spare.

 

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