Naby Keita will have better days in a Liverpool shirt but Saturday’s goalless draw at Bury served as another valuable opportunity for him to adapt to new teammates and surroundings.
The Guinean was introduced as one of 10 half-time changes made by Jurgen Klopp and again proved to be one of his side’s bright sparks.
A lacklustre occasion and performance entailed few moments of inspiration, although did see Keita demonstrate further signs of his all-action value in Liverpool’s midfield.
His high-pressing was a familiar feature to his game and again previewed his license to adopt advanced positions in aid of leading the frontline defending.
The urgency in his natural glance to look forward was another positive sign of his alignment with Liverpool’s swift counterattacking approach. It also meant glimpses of his vision and passing expertise as a technician capable of strengthening the Reds offensively.
A will to make runs between the lines and into the box has been evident early on in pre-season and could see him compensate for the explosiveness lost with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s long-term injury.
In an overall disjointed and ponderous performance from his new team, Keita’s energy and athleticism to patrol all areas in midfield was encouraging.
Watch Keita’s highlights here…
His next opportunity will come on Thursday when Liverpool travel to face Blackburn Rovers in their final friendly on home soil before flying to America for the International Champions Cup tournament.
The first real substantial insight to his role will likely be his first outing with members of the Reds’ front three, who are on extended breaks following their involvement at the World Cup.