|Occupations||Association football player|
|Birth||April 16, 1996 (Paris)|
Cheick Keita (born 16 April 1996) is a professional footballer who plays as a left back for Serie A club Bologna, on loan from Birmingham City of the EFL Championship. Keita previously played for Italian club Virtus Entella. He was born in France, but has represented Mali at under-20 level and has been an unused substitute for the senior team.
Born in 1996 in Paris, Keita started his youth football career at the local team, Paris FC. He had been selected to attend INF Clairefontaine and was scouted by AS Monaco in 2011. In 2014, he joined Virtus Entella's youth team in Italy.
In 2015, Keita was called up for the Virtus Entella first team. On 17 January 2015, he was an unused substitute in a Serie B match against Bari. On 12 September 2015, the player made his senior debut in Serie B against A.C. Cesena at Stadio Comunale, playing the game as a starter under coach Alfredo Aglietti. He was shown a yellow card in the 32nd minute. On 24 October, Keita was sent off after 75 minutes of the match against Bari for receiving two yellow cards. He was again sent off on 26 March 2016 against Como, this time in stoppage time. He played 32 games (including a game in the Coppa Italia) and was shown eleven yellow cards and two red. After considerable transfer window interest from what website TuttoB.com dubbed "half of Serie A", Keita remained with Entella. He made 14 league appearances in the first half of the 2016–17 season, with only one yellow card.
On 19 January 2017, Keita signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Birmingham City of the EFL Championship (English second tier); the fee was undisclosed. According to manager Gianfranco Zola, "Everybody speaks very highly about him in Italy and a lot of teams were interested – we did very well to get him because everybody says he has got a big future." He made his debut on 4 February at home to Fulham, playing on the left of a makeshift back four, kept a clean sheet, and supplied the cross for Lukas Jutkiewicz's winning goal in what was judged a man-of-the-match performance. He continued in the struggling side for the next six matches – all defeats – until a knee injury forced him out. He was restored to the starting eleven in early April for the visit to league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion, but the Birmingham Mail's correspondent thought his forward-thinking nature meant his selection was too risky while the team remained in relegation danger. He finished the season with ten appearances, as the team secured their Championship survival on the last day of the season. Keita was a second-half substitute in the opening match of the 2017–18 season, but picked up a groin injury that kept him out for a few weeks. Meanwhile, new manager Harry Redknapp signed Arsenal youngster Cohen Bramall on loan, and Bramall went straight into the starting eleven.
Keita returned to Italy to join Serie A club Bologna on loan for the 2017–18 season.
- As of match played 26 August 2017
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Virtus Entella||2014–15||Serie B||0||0||0||0||—||—||0||0|