By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Keïta remains out, and low on the depth chart, for Bremen

Having explained why he chose not to employ the services of Naby Keïta in last Saturday's home defeat to 1. FC Heidenheim, SV Werder Bremen trainer Ole Werner noted that the Guinean national team captain will also miss out on this Friday's clash with Köln due to gastrointestinal issues. 

It might well be the case that, even though finally fit, the blockbuster summer signing might have great difficulty getting back into Werner's XI. The team's depth chart has stabilizing in the Guinean national team captain's absence. Werner has noted that the 29-year-old must deal with competition.
Despite the fact that he did work his way back up to full fitness for country in the recent African Cup of Nations, Naby Keïta remained unused off the bench during SV Werder Bremen's 1-2 home loss to 1. FC Heidenheim. The 29-year-old was not one of the five subs Werner deployed; not even as the Hanseatic hosts desperately sought a way back into the match.

Werder were delighted to welcome Keïta back to training last week, yet Werner found preferred to turn to the newly-acquired Skelly Alvero when it came time to introduce some dynamism into the SV attack. Werner directly addressed the choice of Alvero over Keïta in his post-match presser, emphasizing that the hierarchy in his team has stabilized in Keïta's absence.

"We thought about it and could certainly have brought on Naby instead of Skelly," Werner, "But for us it was more about bringing a bit of physicality and physique onto the pitch again. Also in the hope that we might be able to do something with set-pieces. Naby has to work his way past the lads that did well."

At his Wednesday pre-match presser, Werner confirmed that Keïta will remain absent from this Friday's match-day 22 curtain-raiser against 1. FC Köln. Gastrointestinal issues are the cause. Werner also spoke on the potential replacement for the injured Niklas Stark in defense, declining to commit to either youngster Julian Malatini or veteran Christian Groß.

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