The statement was short and sweet from Roma, revealing that the 34-year-old, who was a long-term target of Liverpool, will spend next season in the Italian capital: “AS Roma would like to announce that an agreement has been reached for the signing of Malian player Seydou Ahmed Keita. The contract has the duration of one year, expiring on June 30, 2015.”
Brendan Rodgers reportedly looked to bring Keita to Anfield back in January, per Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star, but negotiations broke down, as the Mali international wanted to be granted guaranteed first-team football.
Instead, he made the switch to Valencia, but with the La Liga side not mixing it with Europe’s elite in the Champions League next season, Keita decided to move on.
Once a cornerstone of Barcelona’s invincible setup, Keita won La Liga three times during his spell at the Nou Camp and has two Champions League winners’ medals, per Yahoo Sport.
With Roma back among the European best of the best after a five-year absence, having a player with the experience and professionalism of Keita will no doubt aid their quest for glory.
As WhoScored.com revealed, the Malian’s passing accuracy during his time in La Liga is incredibly impressive and something Roma will benefit from in the 2014/15 campaign:
Seydou Keita: Of players with 100+ La Liga apps in the last 5 seasons, only 4 have maintained a better pass accuracy than Keita (89.3%)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 5, 2014
Signing on a free contract after his short-term deal at the Mestalla Stadium came to an end, Keita looked happy to be signing for Roma in this tweet from the club:
Though the transfer means Liverpool will need to shop around if they’re to bring a defensive midfielder to Anfield, it’s nothing but good news for Roma.
With Kevin Strootman not set to return from his knee injury until autumn, per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian, having a player of Keita’s calibre filling his boots at Roma will see them keep their solid core in the team.
Though Juventus ran away with the Serie A title last season, the signing of Keita shows a statement of intent from the runners-up, Roma, who have an exciting 2014/15 campaign to look forward to.