Werder Bremen pull off surprise Naby Keita coup

Werder Bremen’s announcement of the signing of midfielder Naby Keita on a free transfer from Liverpool arrived straight out of left field and came as a surprise to many. The Guinean leaves the Premier League after an injury-hit season and the decision to not sign a contract extension at Anfield.

The choice of Werder as his next adventure will come as a shock to many and could be quite a coup if the player can stay fit and healthy.

“A number of clubs are obviously going to be interested when a player like Naby Keïta is available on a free transfer. We’re therefore really pleased that Naby has decided to join Werder, despite several other offers” said Clemens Fritz, head of scouting and professional football at Werder Bremen.

“His qualities will massively strengthen our team. We obviously know Naby from his time previously in the Bundesliga and have kept an eye on his career in the Premier League. He suffered an injury setback at the start of this season and that meant he didn’t play as often as he’d have liked to. We now want to get him back to his best.”

Werder Bremen’s announcement of the signing of midfielder Naby Keita on a free transfer from Liverpool arrived straight out of left field and came as a surprise to many. The Guinean leaves the Premier League after an injury-hit season and the decision to not sign a contract extension at Anfield.

The choice of Werder as his next adventure will come as a shock to many and could be quite a coup if the player can stay fit and healthy.

“A number of clubs are obviously going to be interested when a player like Naby Keïta is available on a free transfer. We’re therefore really pleased that Naby has decided to join Werder, despite several other offers” said Clemens Fritz, head of scouting and professional football at Werder Bremen.

“His qualities will massively strengthen our team. We obviously know Naby from his time previously in the Bundesliga and have kept an eye on his career in the Premier League. He suffered an injury setback at the start of this season and that meant he didn’t play as often as he’d have liked to. We now want to get him back to his best.”

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Werder finished 13th this season in their first season back after promotion, although their form suffered a real dip in the second half of the season. The addition of a player of Keita’s quality is a real statement of intent from the Grün-Weißen.

“Naby is a technically gifted and hard-running midfielder, who will provide us with lots more flexibility” coach Ole Werner explained. “He is dangerous in front of goal and can also provide assists too.  He will be an important figure in the centre of the pitch for our squad. He played in a Champions League final last year and has so much experience on the international stage, which our team will only benefit from. I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

Keïta joined RB Salzburg in 2014 from French side FC Istres. He signed for RB Leipzig before Liverpool took him to the Premier League where he won the league, the FA Cup and the Champions League in his time with the Reds. “I’m really excited for my new challenge here in Bremen” the player confessed at his unveiling.

“I was impressed by what the club told me about the setup here and Werder’s style of play. The coach gave me a really good feeling and showed how I can help the team. Werder is a special club and I know the Weserstadion from my time with Leipzig. This club and its philosophy will be a good match for me, so this is the right step for my career.”

If Keita can stay fit then Werder have added a talent, which has the ability to take their midfield to the next level. No offence to Christian Groß and Jens Stage, but Keita is a class above. That word ‘if’ however is key.

Jürgen Klopp knows exactly what quality Werder are getting and paid tribute to the player when it was known he wouldn’t be extending his stay on Merseyside. “Naby is an exceptional footballer, what a player he is. Maybe one or two injuries too many just hindered him from getting really through.

“But if you go through – and I would really recommend that – if you go through our really big games of Liverpool FC you might be surprised how often Naby was in the starting line-up and how often he played incredibly well.

“It was a bit a shame, when it was really going well then a little injury here, a little muscle thing there. That was not too cool and that is probably what people might remember as well, but in his moment he is world-class, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Werder finished 13th this season in their first season back after promotion, although their form suffered a real dip in the second half of the season. The addition of a player of Keita’s quality is a real statement of intent from the Grün-Weißen.

“Naby is a technically gifted and hard-running midfielder, who will provide us with lots more flexibility” coach Ole Werner explained. “He is dangerous in front of goal and can also provide assists too.  He will be an important figure in the centre of the pitch for our squad. He played in a Champions League final last year and has so much experience on the international stage, which our team will only benefit from. I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

Keïta joined RB Salzburg in 2014 from French side FC Istres. He signed for RB Leipzig before Liverpool took him to the Premier League where he won the league, the FA Cup and the Champions League in his time with the Reds. “I’m really excited for my new challenge here in Bremen” the player confessed at his unveiling.

Embed from Getty Images

“I was impressed by what the club told me about the setup here and Werder’s style of play. The coach gave me a really good feeling and showed how I can help the team. Werder is a special club and I know the Weserstadion from my time with Leipzig. This club and its philosophy will be a good match for me, so this is the right step for my career.”

If Keita can stay fit then Werder have added a talent, which has the ability to take their midfield to the next level. No offence to Christian Groß and Jens Stage, but Keita is a class above. That word ‘if’ however is key.

Jürgen Klopp knows exactly what quality Werder are getting and paid tribute to the player when it was known he wouldn’t be extending his stay on Merseyside. “Naby is an exceptional footballer, what a player he is. Maybe one or two injuries too many just hindered him from getting really through.

“But if you go through – and I would really recommend that – if you go through our really big games of Liverpool FC you might be surprised how often Naby was in the starting line-up and how often he played incredibly well.

“It was a bit a shame, when it was really going well then a little injury here, a little muscle thing there. That was not too cool and that is probably what people might remember as well, but in his moment he is world-class, without a shadow of a doubt.”

About Mathew Burt 1047 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball