Jurgen Klopp admits Naby Keitas recent performances for Liverpool have been average and has urged the midfielder to improve.
Keita was signed for an initial £53 million fee which can be raised by add-ons but after an impressive start to life at Anfield, the 23-year-old has struggled to make an impact.
Keitas campaign has been disrupted by a hamstring injury and Klopp believes getting the best out of the Guinea international will be a long-term project for Liverpool.
The start was rather good, then average, thats how it is. He played really well in the beginning, said Klopp.
Now he had that game [for Guinea] on a football pitch that was not really a football pitch – I watched the game and I saw a yellow surface and a bouncy game.
He came back tired. Thats how it is if you have these long flights and three stops on the way back. Its not too cool.
The day before he wasnt training but yesterday he was in training and looked completely fine. Its nothing to judge.
Naby has to, and can, improve. He has to learn the language, there are a lot of things he can do, but its a long-term project.
We have this wonderful player in our squad and we will use him now, short-term, long-term, future. He is here exactly in the right place.
More: Liverpool FC