Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge believes the Anfield faithful need to see a performance from midfielder Naby Keita.

Keita arrived at Liverpool before the 2018/19 season got underway having sealed his path to Anfield 12 months earlier.

The Reds struck a deal with RB Leipzig worth £52.75million in advance to secure the services of Keita for the current campaign.

There was plenty of hype around the Guinea international, although it just has not quite happened for him yet on Merseyside.

Injuries and adapting to a new country have certainly played a part, but Aldridge now wants to see Keita start putting a good run of form together, as he believes he can make a big difference in the current Liverpool setup.

“Liverpool need a big performance from Naby Keita, soon,” Aldridge wrote for the Liverpool Echo.

“At the moment he looks a little bit lost out there, almost like a rabbit in the headlights.

“He should be taking games by the scruff of the neck more often because he has got the ability, but you seen him at the weekend against Brighton running into trouble and almost costing the Reds with some slack passing.

“He can’t do that. He needs to roll his sleeves up and show everyone the type of player he can be.

“Right now, he isn’t doing it.

“He needs to realise his potential and what he can do on a football pitch because at the moment, he looks like he doesn’t want to prove to anyone what he can do.

“Perhaps he is just waiting for things to happen rather than making it himself.

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BURY, ENGLAND – JULY 14: Naby Keita of Liverpool reacts during a pre-season friendly match between Bury and Liverpool at Gigg Lane on July 14, 2018 in Bury, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

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“If he wants to start playing in games, he needs to start showing Jurgen Klopp why he is a £50million-plus midfielder.

“We know how good he is and what he can do, but we need to see it more consistently. He’s never played a game where he’s been Man of the Match, but it is in him.

“The fact he hasn’t scored is holding him back a bit.

“It appears as though he has lost confidence in his own ability and there’s nothing like a goal to sort that out when it is isn’t quite going for you.

“It was always the case for me particularly as a striker, but he will know too, because he scored some fantastic goals for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.

“He has got a great long-range shot on him and he could do with seeing one fly into the net because that will bring the confidence back.

“There are plenty of games left and he will get a chance before the end of the season to show that – but it’s up to him to take it.

“Liverpool have players like Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho and James Milner in midfield, meaning the skills of Keita are needed to help the front three.

“He is capable of supplying the killer passes to those front three to finish off because they can’t always do it themselves.

“Quite often Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will create chances themselves, but Keita can be the one who pulls the strings for them.

“He will be invaluable in the coming weeks, but he needs to find his form.”

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Freelance sports journalist and Red from Melbourne.

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