Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita doesn’t think he will have any trouble adapting to the Premier League and it’s robust nature.
The Guinean midfielder finally completed his long-awaited move from RB Leipzig to Liverpool this summer, with Jurgen Klopp having tried, and failed, to take him to Anfield 12 months ago.
Liverpool agreed to pay his £48 million release clause, as well as premium to ensure the deal would be completed, with the 23-year-old completing the switch to the Premier League on 1st July.
The combative and diminutive midfielder scored six goals and provided five assists in the Bundesliga last season, but also was sent off twice, so is clearly not averse to getting stuck in. As he prepares for his first season in English football, he has admitted that he loves winning the ball back, and shouldn’t have any difficulties adjusting to the physicality of the English game:
“I don’t think the physical aspect is going to have a negative impact on me at all,” he told the Telegraph.
“I have watched a lot of English football and through the process of the friendly games leading up to the new season, I’ll adjust to it. I like winning the ball back. It’s something I love.
“I am someone who has this real winning mentality. I have a huge desire to win. That is why I am aggressive in a positive sense on the field.
“My first mind-set when I am out on the field is to defend well and not concede. As a midfielder, when you have sealed things up at the back, my job is to provide the ammunition for the strikers and forwards, to create opportunities for them.
“Also, if I get a chance that come(s) my way, I want to take it and score. But I am a team player. I think about the team and the group first always.”
Along with Keita, Liverpool have also signed Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri, and splashed out a world record fee to bring in goalkeeper Alisson.