Fellow players vote forgotten £52m Liverpool flop as biggest DISAPPOINTMENT of the season

Liverpool flop Naby Keita has been voted the biggest disappointment of the season by his fellow Bundesliga players after a campaign from hell with Werder Bremen.

The annual Kicker survey took the anonymous views of 227 league players, across a range of topics from the best players and coaches to which nation they thought might win the European Championship. 

Bayer Leverkusen swept the board, predictably, for the top honours with Florian Wirtz and Xabi Alonso coming out on top. 

Over 50 percent of the voters (51.1 percent) selected Wirtz as their top player ahead of Leverkusen teammates Granit Xhaka and Alex Grimaldo. 

Alonso was even more decisive in his victory, earning 137 of 225 votes (60.4 percent). 

According to the players in Germany’s top leagues, it will be Julian Nagelsmann’s hosts who will carry the day at Euro 2024 with 39.2 percent of voters going for the German national team. 

France (22.0 percent), England (15.4 percent), Spain (6.2 percent) and Portugal (3.5 percent) round out the predictions. 

Naby Keita named as 'biggest disappointment'

Intriguingly, it was Keita who was chosen by his fellow pros as the Bundesliga’s biggest flop with 25.6 percent of responders plumping for the midfielder. 

Keita had a season to forget in Werder colours after completing a free transfer from Liverpool last summer. He only started ONE league game for the Germans, appearing five times in total, and suffered a number of injuries which hampered his progress

Naby Keita

Football - 2022 / 2023 Emirates FA Cup - Round Three - Replay - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Liverpool - Molineux - Tuesday 17th January 2023. Naby Keita of Liverpool PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK

Keita came off the bench for two matches against Union Berlin and Wolfsburg in March, playing four minutes and 22 minutes respectively. Coach Ole Werner was harsh in his criticism following the Wolfsburg game, calling Keita’s performance “sloppy”. 

Keita suspended by Werder Bremen

In April, he was suspended until the end of the season and levied with a substantial fine. 

The club claimed that the 29-year-old midfielder refused to travel with the team for a Bundesliga fixture against champions Leverkusen when he learned that he wouldn’t be part of the starting line up. 

Werder lost 5-0 in a game which confirmed Alonso's team as Bundesliga winners for the first time ever and Keita’s refusal to sit among the substitutes has had serious repercussions around Bremen. 

As well as the ban and fine, the Guinea captain was banished from the training ground and was not able to use the club’s first-team facilities.

Keita barely ever fit for Liverpool

The central midfielder, nicknamed “Deco” in his homeland, cost Liverpool £52 million when he signed from RB Leipzig back in 2018 - only four players have cost more - and it was expected that he would become a mainstay under Jurgen Klopp in midfield. 

It never really happened for Keita at Anfield, although he did play his part in some significant trophy wins, starting in successful FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Club World Cup finals. 

But Keita started only 49 Premier League matches in five seasons and is estimated to have missed at least 70 more when unavailable for selection.

Share This Article