Ex-Liverpool star Keita in hot water after refusing to play against Boniface’s Bayer Leverkusen

Werder Bremen star Naby Keita | Imago

Ex-Liverpool star Keita in hot water after refusing to play against Boniface’s Bayer Leverkusen

Ayoola Kelechi 19:38 - 14.04.2024

Guinean midfielder Naby Keita is in trouble after abandoning his team ahead of their Bundesliga match against newly-crowned Champions Bayer Leverkusen

Former Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has found himself embroiled in controversy after refusing to participate in Werder Bremen's Bundesliga encounter against Bayer Leverkusen. His refusal stemmed from learning that he would not be included in the starting lineup for the match.

Frustration in Germany for Keita

Keita's time in Germany since departing from Anfield has been fraught with frustration. In his debut season with Werder Bremen, he has struggled with injuries, limiting his appearances on the pitch. The 29-year-old has only featured five times in the league, amassing a mere 106 minutes of playing time.

Despite his persistent injury setbacks, Keita made a return from his latest ailment in March. He managed to make two substitute appearances in Bremen's last five matches, signalling a potential resurgence in his involvement with the team.

Keita refuses to play for Werder Bremen

However, ahead of Werder Bremen's crucial fixture against runaway leaders Bayer Leverkusen, Keita made the controversial decision to refuse to join his teammates for the match.

Bremen director Clemens Fritz addressed Keita's refusal, expressing disappointment in the midfielder's actions. Fritz revealed that Keita opted not to board the team bus and instead chose to return home upon learning of his exclusion from the starting lineup, saying, “Naby Keita found out that he would not be playing vs Leverkusen from the start, he decided not to get on the bus and to go home. We'll talk to Keita and his agent about the consequences and how to proceed”.

As confirmed by Fritz, the club is now preparing to discuss the consequences of Keita's actions with him and his agent.

What next for Keita?

Keita's stint at Werder Bremen began after he signed a three-year deal with the German club following the expiration of his contract at Anfield last summer. The Guinean midfielder had initially joined Liverpool for £48 million in the summer of 2017, marking a significant transfer at the time.

As the situation unfolds, Keita's future at Werder Bremen hangs in the balance, with repercussions likely to follow his refusal to play against Bayer Leverkusen.

Related content