Naby Keita has joined Werder Bremen on a free transfer after leaving Liverpool at the expiration of his contract.
The Guinean joined Liverpool from RB Leipzig in a £52.75m deal in the summer of 2018. But while he won every major honour at Anfield, helping Jurgen Klopp’s side win the Champions League and Premier League in successive campaigns, injuries ultimately derailed his career at Liverpool as he was able to make just 129 appearances.
“I’m really excited for my new task here in Bremen,” Keita told the club after his move was concluded. “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.”
In truth, Keita’s move to Bremen is something of a surprise. Relegated from the Bundesliga in 2021, they secured an immediate return before finishing 13th in their first year back in the top-flight, three points above the relegation play-off place.
As a result, Werder Bremen were delighted to successfully convince Keita to return to Germany and join the club after departing Liverpool.
“A number of clubs are obviously going to be interested when a player like Naby Keita is available on a free transfer,” said Clemens Fritz, Head of Scouting and Professional Football at Werder Bremen. “We’re therefore really pleased that Naby has decided to join Werder, despite offers from several clubs.
“His qualities will massively strengthen our team. We obviously know Naby from his days back 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.”
Head coach Ole Werner added: “Naby is a technically gifted and hard-running midfielder, who will provide us with lots of flexibility. 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 the team.
“He played in a Champions League final last year and has so much experience on the international stage, which will only benefit our team. I really look forward to working with him.”