Sadio Mane is extremely confident Naby Keita will continue to grow in stature at Liverpool, following the Guinean’s recent revival.
Against Southampton last Friday, the no.8 found the back of the net with his head, which earned him another start in the Champions League v FC Porto at Anfield. On that occasion, it took him just a few minutes to score, which he then followed with a pulsating Man of the Match performance.
Mane knows Keita from Red Bull Salzburg in Austria – where the pair briefly played together in 2014 – and interestingly – states that it took Naby a while to adjust to his surroundings then, too.
“The real Naby is coming still. We have more to see from him,” our no.10 said, reported in the Mirror.
“Naby is a big boy so he knows how football can work, and sometimes not. So he is very positive and he knows he can do more.
“I am sure he can do more. We have a lot more to see from him and I am sure we will see it. I know him very well and there is more to come.
“I knew him from a long time ago, from the first time he came to Salzburg and he was the same.
“He was not playing for a while and he was really positive and after he was the star of the team. At the beginning at Salzburg it was very tough for him but he never stopped working hard.
“I am 100 per cent sure he will do incredibly well. He played well the last two games.”
We quite enjoy this prediction!
In terms of sheer, unadulterated talent – Keita is Liverpool’s most talented midfielder.
His ability to run with the ball through congested areas is jaw-dropping, but he needs the confidence to try it, and then pull it off, much more regularly.
Sadly, we can quite conceivably see Jurgen Klopp pulling him out of the side for the Chelsea clash on Sunday, with it very likely that the boss will go with his tried and trusted names: three of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner.
Keita though could start against FC Porto and Cardiff next, so we hope his recent emergence continues.