BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 05: Seydou Keita of Barcelona controls the ball during the la Liga match between Barcelona and Real Zaragoza at the Camp Nou stadium on March 5, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Report: Seydou Keita delivered another solid, steady season. He played in the center of the midfield, but the severe drop-off in quality from Xavi and Andres Iniesta to the Malian was clearly noticeable. Keita will never be the most talented player on the pitch, but he always gives his best.
Seydou was in the starting eleven only against less dangerous teams and in the early stages of the Copa del Rey where Pep Guardiola felt that Keita's lesser offensive qualities can still provide enough for a Barcelona win. It has to be said Keita played well, but comparing him to the aforementioned midfield duo would not be fair. Had it not been for Seydou's experience he would have lost even more playing time to Thiago.
Ever since Keita has established himself as a rock-solid midfielder he played in around forty games, but this season he established a new career high as he made 56 appearances, also a team high. Despite all the appearances Keita had a down season when looking at the minutes played column as he started less than half of the games.
Consistency was always Keita's strong point and this season was no different. Seydou provided a steady share of goals and assists and was very responsible on defense. He has now scored six goals in four consecutive season (three with Barcelona).
Moment of the season: Keita scored many beautiful goals and the over the defense assist to Messi was brilliant, but his most important goal of the season came on 6 April against Shakhtar Donetsk. Barcelona were up 3-0 when Yaroslav Rakitskiy made a game out of it and scored the important away goal. But before any doubts of the winners could set in Keita scored on a quick counter to put the game out of reach. Barcelona won the game 5-1
Seydou Keita Barcelona Shakhtar (via KoooraUefaBR)
|Started on the bench||34
|Shots on goal||13
Record with Seydou Keita in the starting lineup: 17-6-4
2011/12 Outlook: If Keita returns, which is still a pretty big if, it won't be as a starter. He will start roughly 20 games when regular starters will need rest. Those starts, however, won't came against La Liga's best teams as Keita lacks the creativity to lead Barca on attack. There is a good chance that Seydou won't return as he and his agent are listening to offers from teams where the Malian would get starts.
Next up: Thiago Alcántara
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