Cheick Keita: stick or sell?

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June 6, 2018 by jordmarley

Keita joined Blues back in January 2017 under the reigns of Gianfranco Zola, bringing in flair and excitement to a struggling Blues side. 

In the following summer transfer window, the Parisian was loaned out to Serie A club Bologna following injuries and new manager Harry Redknapp not featuring him in his plans.

With another manager in charge of Blues in the form of Garry Monk, Keita’s position within the Blues team is again up in the air.

Does Keita have a future at Blues and if so, how should Monk deploy him in a team that will undergo changes going into the 2018/19 season?

Future

Initially, it does seem that Monk isn’t considering Keita as being vital in his bid to help Blues avoid another desperate season at the bottom of the Championship.

Keita’s prime position is at left-back and despite Jonathan Grounds being made available for transfer, he may be a surplus to requirements.

Maxime Colin adapted well to the position at the end of last season, and Blues are on the lookout for a replacement for Grounds, after making a £2.2 million bid for Kristian Pedersen.

On paper, it doesn’t look good for Keita who only made 3 appearances for Bologna towards the end of their campaign.

Adaptability

Despite this, Keita caught the eye of Blues fans for his attacking prowess, and therefore could easily adapt to the left-wing.

A noticeable flaw in his short spell under Zola was his lack of defensive ability, therefore a move to left-wing wouldn’t be out of the question.

However, player of the year Jacques Maghoma is the current occupier of this position and no doubt will be in the starting XI come August.

Viv Solomon-Otabor also returns from his loan spell with Blackpool, and with Monk particularly focusing on youth, he could also be in his plans for the new season.

What next?

Despite his obvious talent and ability, Keita has struggled with injury and has flaws which he needs to overcome.

If Blues want to avoid another season battling the drop, Monk will more than likely avoid risks on players such as Keita and will be sticking with what he knows best.

With two years left on his contract, the best scenario for both club and player would be a loan move to a club he can compete for regularly.

Keita adapted to English football well and doesn’t appear to need this experience, so a loan move abroad seems the way forward for the 22-year-old.

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