Sadio Mane has described his friendship with Liverpool’s summer signing Naby Keita.
The pair share the same agents and played together at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria before they hit the big time.
Mane is from Senegal and Keita is Guinean, but they both speak French and have been close since 2014.
“We just got on naturally. I didn’t know him when he came to us and Naby is someone who is very, very shy. He was very close to me all the time and he became a good friend,” Mane told Liverpool’s membership magazine.
“Naby is a very good friend and a good lad. Everybody loves him here at Liverpool,” he continued.
“I think he is doing well and he can do more. I know him. He is someone that is very, very strong.
“He likes to work hard and he is a very exciting player. He can do more for this club.”
Keita’s start to life at Liverpool has been slower than many expected, especially after his thrilling full debut against West Ham on Premier League Opening Day.
Since then, he’s been affected by niggling injuries and when he has been deployed, has struggled to put his stamp on matches in the manner he did so consistently in the Bundesliga.
But like with Fabinho, it’s purely a case of Keita finding his feet and feeling comfortable in the squad on a personal level, as well as understanding Klopp’s tactical demands.
He’s currently injured, but could return next weekend against Arsenal, although we’d expect him to be on the bench.
Long-term, we have no doubts that Keita will prove he’s one of the best midfielders in Europe.