It hasn’t gone as swimmingly as everyone hoped for Naby Keita…
More so than any other recent signing, bar perhaps Virgil van Dijk, there was an automatic assumption that Keita would hit the ground running.
Having watched him in Germany for so long, he was simply too good not to.
On Opening Day v West Ham, the Guinean excelled and Liverpool fans purred, before his piece of skill v Crystal Palace went viral and we began to compare Keita to the best midfielders in the country.
But since then, he’s gone a little stale, putting in average performances and picking up niggling injuries. At the moment, he’s not available for our next couple of fixtures due to a hamstring issue picked up on international duty.
Keita though is not worried and has spoken excellently about what he must do to fulfil his talent. Namely, learning English!
“You see the number eight is really legendary and to wear this shirt now it is legendary,” Keita told Sky Sports. “It used to belong to a player who was a legend, that was respected here.
“When I was a child, that really was in my mind, to play for a great club like Liverpool. Well here I am now, I don’t mean I’m not going to be like him because each of us are individuals.
“He left his own mark, I want to leave my own mark, I am going to work really hard to leave my own mark like he did. To play for Liverpool, that is a dream I had as a child and here I am now.
“I am following a course, I am really motivated to speak English, it is really important for me,” he added. “I want to be able to speak to the coach, I want to speak to the other players on the team and I am really working hard.
“I am hoping in six months I will be able to do these interviews in English.
“I find the scouse accent a bit difficult but I will try my best [to learn some]. I do not know any scouse, I have been trying to speak English I have not been able to learn any scouse yet.”
In fairness, Keita did know he’d be moving to England for an entire year before his arrival, so perhaps he should have started learning the language in Germany…
That being said, it’s not the be and end all, especially considering Roberto Firmino’s English is almost non-existent and he’s been here since 2015.
The key with Keita is for him to get fit and start playing with freedom. The 23-year-old has the ability to both dribble with the ball and pass it precisely, but too often he’s chosen the easy option or simply dallied in possession.
We really hope to see the real Naby soon.