Naby Keita has promised a burning fixation on victory ahead of his debut season at Liverpool.
The Guinean has teased glimpses of a ferocious energy and attacking vision in a bright start to pre-season for the Reds following his move from RB Leipzig.
His all-action midfield approach has been evident early on and and previewed an integral role at both ends of the pitch under Jurgen Klopp.
Keita’s defensive attentiveness is wonderfully complimented by an pressing intent on launching attacks as soon as he retrieves the ball, making him perfectly-suited to his new manager’s philosophies on Merseyside.
Detailing his qualities, Keita told the Guardian: “I am someone who has a 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 mindset 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.”
He added: “I am a team player. My long-term aim has always been to play football at the highest level I possibly could for a big club. When that is in your mind you don’t give up, you constantly fight and battle to make that happen.”
Keita’s attacking contributions so far this summer have started to ease concerns over the club’s diffused pursuit of a Philippe Coutinho replacement.
The 23-year-old represents a different mould of technician to the Brazilian, but can provide the incisive execution and agility to drift between markers needed from an attacking midfielder.
His high pressing can also become a foundation to his attacking value, as evidenced by his assists for Daniel Sturridge against Tranmere and Blackburn after snatching the ball in the final-third.
Add his hounding presence behind that of Roberto Firmino and opposition defenders could find themselves in a nightmare scenario.