Naby Keita has joined Werder Bremen after his contract expired at Liverpool. - © Roland Krivec/
Naby Keita has joined Werder Bremen after his contract expired at Liverpool. - © Roland Krivec/

Naby Keita returns to the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen from Liverpool


Naby Keita has returned to the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen on a free transfer after the expiration of his contract with Liverpool.

Naby Keita: from Conakry, via Salzburg, Leipzig and Liverpool, to Bremen

Keita, 28, previously spent two seasons at RB Leipzig before a 2018 move to England with Liverpool. The central midfielder returns to Germany having made 129 competitive appearances for Jürgen Klopp’s team and won every possible trophy at Anfield, with the English Premier League (2019/20), FA Cup (2021/22), EFL Cup (2021/22), FA Community Shield (2022), UEFA Champions League (2018/19), UEFA Super Cup (2019) and FIFA Club World Cup (2019).

"I'm really looking forward to the next challenge in Bremen," Keita said on signing. "The talks with the bosses, the environment and Werder's style of play convinced me. The coach gave me a really good feeling and showed me that I can help the team. Werder is a special club and I know the Weserstadion from my time at Leipzig. The club and the philosophy are the right fit for me. It's the right step for me."

Watch: Welcome to Werder Bremen, Naby Keita!

Guinea international Keita originally joined Leipzig from Red Bull Salzburg, where he’d won consecutive league and cup doubles and been named Austrian Bundesliga Player of the Year for 2015/16, upon Die Roten Bullen’s Bundesliga promotion in 2016. He made his debut off the bench on Matchday 2 to score the winning goal against Borussia Dortmund as Leipzig recorded their first-ever victory in the top flight.

His excellent all-round play in midfield, from winning possession, distribution and threat in the final third, saw him named in the Bundesliga Team of the Season for 2016/17.

Watch: Keita's top 5 goals at Leipzig

Keita now joins a Bremen side boasting the likes of 2022/23 Bundesliga joint-top scorer and Team of the Season representative Niclas Füllkrug as Die Grünweißen look to build on their 13th-place finish going into their second season back in the Bundesliga.

"It goes without saying there are numerous interested parties when a player like Naby Keita is on the market for free. That's why we're delighted that Naby chose us despite several offers and we could convince him about Werder," said Bremen's head of scouting and first-team football, Clemens Fritz.

"We obviously know about Naby from his time in the Bundesliga and continued to follow him in the Premier League," the former midfielder added. "An injury set him back at the start of this season, meaning he didn't get the playing time he wanted. We now want to get him back to his top level."