Outstanding Ridle Baku outshines Naby Keita on Bundesliga debut

Mainz midfielder Ridle Baku enjoyed an aspiration Bundesliga debut on Matchday 32, scoring for the 05ers as they boosted their survival hopes with a very important 3- win in excess of European hopefuls RB Leipzig.

The 20-year-old had only made 1 senior look this season, in a 3-1 DFB Cup win in excess of VfB Stuttgart just ahead of Xmas. He was basically on his way to Freiburg to play for the reserves when he was hauled off the team bus and rerouted to the Opel Arena on Sunday, to be thrown in at the deep end against final season’s Bundesliga runners-up.

“I found out at a motorway provider station that I ought to get off the bus,” Baku uncovered to Sky Deutschland. “It took me forty-five minutes to do the job out the place I was, but in the close, I got there and the fans were being satisfied, my teammates were being satisfied, I was satisfied.”

On a day when the world’s most effective cars were charging around the streets of the Azerbaijani capital, it was possibly fitting that Mainz unveiled a Formulation 1 of their individual in the condition of Baku. The turbo-charged midfielder finished up owning a considerably higher impact on the game than his illustrious reverse number, Naby Keita, who was sent off in stoppage time.

Baku covered more floor than any of his teammates – seven miles – and completed a team-large 21 passes. He also clocked 86 operates – thirty more than Keita – and 34 sprints. A lot more importantly, he capped off a great top-flight debut by firing in Mainz’s third goal late on.

“An extended ball came ahead, I went for the 2nd ball and took it with me properly,” Baku stated to “I got earlier Upamecano with an additional touch and then set it in the far corner, just as I would in instruction!”

The Mainz indigenous, who has been on the club’s books because of 2007, moved up to the reserves final summer season – and his remarkable performances in the Regionalliga before long caught the eye of first-team head coach Sandro Schwarz. While he is of Congolese origin, the diminutive (5’9″) midfielder has previously represented Germany at U18 and U19 stage.

A central midfielder by trade, Baku has demonstrated his versatility this season by actively playing out huge, as a defensive midfielder and even at suitable-again. It was from the latter position that he scored his first goal for the reserves – against Kickers Offenbach – but his effort against Leipzig is probably to have a considerably higher ripple impact.

“I will not definitely know what to say!’ he admitted after the remaining whistle. “It is really unbelievable. Currently couldn’t have long gone greater for me.”

Indeed, if his first Bundesliga game is anything at all to go by, you have not listened to the final of Ridle Baku.



Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 16:00

Senegal and Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane has revealed what he told Guinea international midfielder Naby Keita to lure him to the English Premier League giants.

The Lions of Teranga international revealed that their relationship at Red Bull Salzburg made it easy to convince the Guinean to move to the Reds.

“He is a really special player and is like family to me,” Liverpool ace Mane told


“We were close at Salzburg and still keep in touch. I enjoy watching him and look forward to helping him again when he comes next year.

“He asked me about Liverpool and I told him this is an amazing club with talented players, a great manager and lots of ambition.

“The city and the people are really nice and he will feel at home here.”

Moreover, Keita said that Mane is still an important figure in his life and will always be, adding that he is looking forward to his stay at Anfield.

“Sadio was important for me, he still is!” Keita added.

“To me, he’s my big brother. He really likes to learn new things, to improve and to push himself and we are the same in this way – he’s a good example for me.”

Keita will officially join Jurgen Klopp’s men on July 1, 2018 after the Reds struck a deal worth an initial £51m with the German Bundesliga outift in August.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita – Gets the nod in the UEFA Champions League Best XI – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Naby Keita celebrates his winner against Borussia Dortmund

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 16:00

Guinea and RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita has been included in the UEFA Champions League XI of the group stages.

The Syli Nationale anchorman makes the cut as one of the best midfielders in Europe’s biggest club competition.

Keita has been a crucial member of the squad, especially in their quest to become one of the biggest sides in the European game.

The German Bundesliga outfit recently shocked French champions AS Monaco on Tuesday as they cruised to a 4-1 win.


Keita scored their fourth goal with a neat and a calm finish whilst giving Liverpool fans a glimpse of what to expect next year.

Although Leipzig are yet to cement their place in the knockout stages as they are facing Turkish side Besiktas at home in their last match in the group, he will hope to score again.

They have seven points at number three in the group whilst the Turkish side top the standings with 11 points from five matches.

Media speculation doing the rounds in Europe is that should Leipzig fail to reach the knockout stages, Keita could be allowed to move to Anfield in January.

In the UEFA’s Best XI team: Igor Akinfeev (GK – CSKA Moscow), Michael Lang (FC Basel), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Bas Dost (Sporting Lisbon), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain).

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RB Leipzig chief: Liverpool fought harder to land Naby Keita – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 11:30

Red Bull Leipzig chief Oliver Mintzlaff has revealed that Liverpool fought off competition from Barcelona to sign Guinea star Naby Keita.

The dynamic midfielder has agreed a big-money deal to join Liverpool at the end of the current 2017/18 season.

Mintzlaff confirmed Barca’s interest when talking to Bild, as he said the following when asked if Jurgen Klopp’s determination to sign Keita was decisive: “That’s right, even more so because Barcelona were also interested in Naby Keita.

“This was confirmed to us by Barcelona, but obviously they didn’t try as hard as Liverpool.”

He added: “He [Keita] wanted the transfer this summer. But [sporting director] Ralf Rangnick told the team that we will not sell any players [at that time].

“This was not lip service – it was set in stone. Had we released Keita, other players might have come up with a similar idea

“It [the Liverpool move] gave the player more security, but also left us with a significantly higher transfer fee.”

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita – His discipline is no worry for Liverpool – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 16, 2017. 16:00

With media reports suggesting that RB Liepzig midfielder Naby Keita’s has lost his form, a German reporter says Liverpool must not worry about the Guinea international.

Ronald Tenbusch, who covers the midfielder’s current side, Leipzig, for Die Welt publication says Keita has no disciplinary issues.

Having signed a staggering £55 million deal to join the Reds next year, Keita has been sent off on three occasions in the last seven matches for club and country.


However, the German media specialist says the 22-year-old has changed his playing style a bit and people must not compare him with France international Franck Ribery.

“I don’t think he has problems with discipline,” Tenbusch told Sky Sports.

“The only thing I have recognised is that he has changed his style a bit, he is wearing more extravagant clothes, but he is certainly not a diva.

“Of course he needs to learn how to handle aggressive opponents but I don’t think he has a problem controlling his emotions.

“He is not like Franck Ribery, who reacts with physical assaults when someone provokes him. From my point of view, Naby just needs to find the right balance in his style of play.”

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita – Not going to Liverpool just yet – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 16:00

Despite having agreed to sell Guinea international Naby Keita to Liverpool, RB Liepzig have indicated that they do not have any intention of allowing the midfielder to leave a year early.

The club’s sporting director, Ralf Rangnick says they want to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season and they will need Keita’s services.

Keita will officially join Liverpool on 1 July 2018 after the Reds struck a deal worth an initial £51m with the German Biundesliga outfit in August.

However, Leipzig were reluctant to sell the Syli Nationale international and only allowed him to leave due to a release clause in his contract effective from next season.


Furthermore, the club’s sporting director insists that Keita will remain a Leipzig player until the end of the current campaign as they want to book a spot in the Champions League for the second successive season.

“Even if we should not reach the knockout stages of Champions League, it would make no sense to allow Naby to join Liverpool earlier,” he told Leipziger Volkszeitung.

“We want to qualify for Europe again and we need Naby for that.”

The 22-year-old has found the back of the net on two occasions this term as well as producing one assist, but his disciplinary problems on and off the pitch are a cause for concern.

Keita has been shown marching orders three times, two for Leipzig and one while on international duty with Guinea.

On the other hand, latest reports reveal that he is in trouble with the authorities for allegedly driving without a valid driver’s licence.

With all the qualities of a fantastic player, will he follow in the footsteps of ex-Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli who made more headlines off the field than on the park?

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Naby Keita in hot water over alleged fake drivers license

Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 05, 2017. 12:00

Guinea star Naby Keita is in hot water in Germany as he allegedly holds a fake drivers license from his home country.

The RB Leipzig midfielder, who has agreed to joined Liverpool in a big-money move at the end of the current season, has already made headlines on the field for receiving three red cards in the space of seven matches.

Now he faces further scrutiny, after Bild reported that he submitted a fake drivers license from Guinea in order to obtain a European equivalent. The 22-year-old has been hit with a massive fine which nears the €100,000 mark.

“He wanted to rewrite the paper in a German driving licence,” court spokesman Stefan Blaschke is quoted as saying.

Keita has a week to respond to the allegations and will have to report to a German court.

A statement from Leipzig said: “This issue is known to us. After detailed discussions, we do not assume that this is a forgery. Naby’s lawyer is waiting for file inspection.”

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita – Will he challenge Aubameyang for CAF GONG? – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

RB Leipzig star Naby Keita

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 02, 2017. 16:24

The Confederation of African Football has released a 30-man list for the CAF African Footballer of the Year Award.

Among the players nominated is Guinea international midfielder Naby Keita, who has starred for German side RB Liepzig.

The Syli Nationale player will compete against Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.


The winner of the award will be decided on by current head coaches, technical directors of the affiliated nations to CAF, together with a panel of media experts.

Keita was inspirational for Leipzig as they marched from Bundesliga 2 into the UEFA Champions League at the first time of asking last season.

He netted eight goals and as many assists as the Bundesliga newcomers finished runners-up to eventual winners, Bayern Munich.

Having already signed to join English Premier League giants, Liverpool next season, Keita is seen as Aubameyang’s challenger for the coveted gong.

The winner will be crowned in Accra, Ghana on January 4 as Leicester City and Algeria winger, Riyad Mahrez has been snubbed.

Should Keita be successful in claiming the accolade, the gong will serve as an inspiration for the 22-year old to deliver better performances for his club and country.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita – Why he must watch his discipline

RB Leipzig star Naby Keita

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 26, 2017. 16:00

With Naby Keita set to make his switch to the English Premier League next season, the Guinea international will have to adjust his conduct.

The versatile midfielder has received rave reviews based on his outstanding performances for Red Bull Liepzig, but he must watch his entry into the referees’ book.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has made a good signing to add steel in their midfield, but Keita continues to receive red cards like nobody’s business.


The RB Leipzig star will move to Anfield next summer in a £55million deal, but has been sent off on three occasions in the last seven matches for club and country.

His latest indiscretion came on Wednesday night as he was dismissed from Leipzig’s German Cup (DFB-Polkal) match against Bayern Munich after 53 minutes.

He was sent off for two bookable offences, the first of which came on the stroke of half-time and the latest early bath followed on from a straight red he received in the Bundesliga tie against Borussia Monchengladbach.

On the other hand, he also received an early shower while playing for Syli Nationale in a World Cup qualifier and all of the red cards have come in the space of a month.

The 22-year-old player has all the attributes of a world star, but he must ensure he remains disciplined and ensure his name doesn’t regularly feature in referees books.

With the Reds fans having showed content and delight in the player’s highly anticipated arrival at Anfield, will Klopp feel the same way regarding the player’s discipline?

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RB Leipzig boss: Naby Keita one of the best I have worked with – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 17:00

Red Bull Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has described Guinea’s Naby Keita as “one of the best” he has worked with in his time in football.

Keita is set to move to Liverpool in a big-money transfer once the current 2017/18 season wraps up, though there are rumours that the Reds will try to bring the deal forward to the January window.

Rangnick says RBL will be loathe to lose the Guinea star, who has been a hugely influential player in their rise to prominence in the German game.

However, the Bundesliga club simply does not have the funds to meet the wages a player of Keita’s calibre can demand.

Rangnick told Kicker: “During my 20 years involved in professional football, he [Keita] is one of the best I have worked with.

“I would really have preferred to keep him for another five years, but we could not pay as high a salary as 10 million euros.”

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Naby Keita is unbelievable, says Schalke chief – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 21, 2017. 12:00

Schalke 04’s sporting director Christian Heidel has been impressed by Guinean international Naby Keita.

The central midfielder was in action for RB Leipzig as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Schalke in their first 2017/18 German Bundesliga match on Saturday.

Schalke club official Heidel has praised the talented 22-year-old box-to-box midfielder, who has impressive abilities.

“Everyone has seen that RB are a top team, especially since they played with 12 today,” Heidel said on Spox.

“Naby Keita plays for two. The kid is unbelievable. I’ve rarely seen anything like it.

“Even when three [Schalke players] were on him, he somehow managed to keep hold of the ball.”

Keita, who had a great 2016/17 season with Leipzig, has been on the radar of English Premier League (EPL) giants Liverpool FC during the current Transfer Window.

Leipzig have already confirmed that they rejected two bids from the Reds as they look to keep the highly-rated midfielder for another season.

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Leipzig geared to lose Naby Keita – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Bertin Basson

Wednesday Jul 26, 2017. 18:00

RP Leipzig are reportedly gearing up for life after Naby Keita, despite the club initially suggesting that they would not be letting go of their star midfielder.

According to Bild, the German Bundesliga club have made a drastic U-turn in their stance on selling Keita with sports director Ralf Rangnick having launched a search for the Guinea internationals replacement.

Liverpool are firm favourites to sign the 22-year-old with reports in England claiming that the Merseyside giants will be expected to fork out at least £65 million if they are to land the playmaker.

Jurgen Klopp is believed to be a huge admirer of Keita, but Leipzig are reluctant to let go of their star man as they prepare for UEFA Champions League football following a memorable first season in Germany’s top flight.


With reports linking Reds ace Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona persisting, Liverpool could well be forced to splash the cash if the Brazilian is to complete a move to Camp Nou.

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Naby Keita not for sale – RB Leipzig – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Jul 18, 2017. 18:00

Guinean midfielder and Liverpool transfer target Naby Keita is not for sale, Red Bull Leipzig have stated once again.

The 22-year-old has emerged as one of the most sought after transfer targets following a superb season for RBL, in which he helped them to a surprise runners-up finish in the Bundesliga.

Liverpool have been the most strident in their pursuit of the Guinea player, with Sky Sports in Germany reporting that Leipzig have already rejected a bid of more than £57-million from the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp’s side is expected to return with another offer this week and Keita is interested in the prospect of a move to the Premier League.

Yet RBL remain adamant that their midfield dynamo is not leaving, especially with their first UEFA Champions League campaign on the table.

“It’s a huge compliment for us that we awoke such desires, but it’s not the general idea of our path to allow players a transfer following the first available offer,” said Leipzig head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl.

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Naby Keita already a top player – Former Red Bull scout – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 06, 2017. 10:00

Naby Keita has room to improve but is “already on the top” according to former Red Bull Global Soccer scout Benoit Thans.

The 22-year-old RB Leipzig midfielder is a transfer target for English giants Liverpool, who could spend somewhere in the region of £70-million if British reports are correct.

Thans knows all about Keita’s qualities, having brought the Guinean to Red Bull Salzburg in Austria in 2014, where he spent two years before signing for their ‘sister’ club RB Leipzig in Germany.

Keita played a major role in the 2016/17 campaign as Leipzig finished an impressive second on the Bundesliga log behind Bayern Munich, earning a place in the UEFA Champions League for the first time.

“Now I don’t know what the future is for him, but I know that many clubs are interested in him,” Thans told ESPN.

“But I know that Ralf Rangnick [Leipzig’s director of sports] wants to keep him.

“When you go to play in the Bundesliga, you certainly make very good progression.

“But now it’s also financial and if you say Liverpool are interested — all players are interested when Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United come to see you and they are maybe interested.

“It’s always good for a player — it’s a big name in the world.

“For me, he can make progression again, but he’s already on the top.”

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Liverpool target Naby Keita going nowhere

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jun 22, 2017. 17:30

Guinean midfielder Naby Keita will not be sold by RB Leipzig following confirmation that they have been approved for next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Despite finishing second in the Bundesliga last season, Leipzig were worried that they may not be allowed to play in the European competition in 2017/18.

This is because of their connection to Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg. Both clubs are owned by energy drinks giants Red Bull, which would usually be against UEFA laws.

However, the European governing body has given both teams the green light to compete in the Champions League next season.

And according to Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff, playing in the elite tournament ensures that Keita – who is a transfer target for Liverpool, amongst others – will be going nowhere.

“It would be negligent to sell one of our key players now,” Mintzlaff told BILD.

“Emil[Forsberg] and Naby are extremely talented and developable [sic] players, we are glad that we are able to keep up with their development as a club.

“And now we can prove ourselves in the Champions League in the coming season.”

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