Ever since he joined the Reds from RB Leipzig in 2017, his Liverpool career was hampered by various injuries as he has been stuck in a frustrating cycle of good performances followed by spells out of the team.
Keita has only made nine starts for Liverpool this season with the last of them came in the Reds’ 3-1 Champions League defeat at Real Madrid. The Guinean was substituted before half-time in that game, arousing doubts about his future.
"It was not about Naby, but I did it and now I'm not happy about it because we talk like it's Naby's responsibility. It was not. It was tactical," Klopp said about the change.
Ahead of their Sunday derby clash with Manchester United, the German admitted he needed stability in his team selection, particularly with the upheaval in defense.
"A lot of things have been tricky this year. We've had to change so often and then you have to in the moment try and go for stability, that's what we really need," Klopp told reporters while previewing the trip to Old Trafford.
"For example, take Manchester United, where the last line [of defense] has played together for nearly 20 games now. Then you can make changes everywhere because you have a proper base.
"We never had that. On top of that, making two or three changes in midfield just doesn't work out. People say to try it, and I would if I could only be nearly sure that it would work out, but you need stability in a football team.
"Other teams are just too good for you to make eight or nine changes. That has hit a few players this year, some of them have been injured and coming back."
On Keita’s instability and rumors about his future, Klopp added: "Naby trains really well, I have to say. Really well. Like a lot of other players, he looks really good in training.
"But this year we need stability. We will make changes from time to time, definitely, but it's not like we can take out seven, eight or nine players to change and say maybe we can win like this.
"The long-term future of Naby Keita, from my point of view, is here."
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