Roopa Vyas explains the impact that Naby Keïta can have on Liverpool’s explosive counter-attacking style of football after his £53million move to Liverpool.
Liverpool fans patiently waited nearly a year for Naby Keïta join the club, following a £53million deal agreed in August 2017. A year on, they have been impressed by the Guinean midfielder and believe that he could play an important role in the upcoming campaign.
With just one week until Liverpool kick-off the season at Anfield, everyone is assessing the current squad, with a few new faces to get used to. Among the new signings is Naby Keïta, the 23-year-old who was once told he wasn’t good enough to play professional football.
He had the pick of clubs last summer and chose Anfield. Whether that is because his father is a die-hard Red, or because Sadio Mané is like a brother to him, we know that he suits Jürgen Klopp’s style, and he won’t be limited with what he is allowed to do on the pitch.
His journey to becoming Liverpool’s new number 8 is inspiring and he has shown his remarkable versatility in his role on the pitch. He can be everywhere and brings unique qualities to the pitch – he is one-of-a-kind.
Keïta didn’t attend an academy before moving to Europe and so his abilities were often overlooked. He didn’t understand widespread football terms because he developed his football ability on the street as a kid, but now he could take the Premier League by storm.
The second-half performance against Blackburn Rovers suggested that Liverpool had another high-profile transfer that was certainly worth the wait. Putting the opposition aside, Keïta impressed with his link-up with Daniel Sturridge – a player who has won his way back into the hearts of many Liverpool fans – and his composure, distribution and movement was a thrill to watch.
We have all seen that Keïta revels in the aggressive side of the game with some strong tackles in his final games for Red Bull Leipzig last season. But he has assured fans that it is down to his winning mentality and his desire to secure the defence in order to provide opportunities for the goal-scorers.
A lot of pressure comes with taking over the No.8 jersey after club legend Steven Gerrard, but Keïta’s head is certainly in the right place. He showed up to pre-season training a week in advance to make sure he is fit come the start of the season. His determination and attitude towards his career at Liverpool have so far impressed. Start as you mean to go on, Naby.