Naby Keita wants Jurgen Klopp’s coaching to have the same effect on him as it had on Liverpool’s world-class attackers Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.
There was actually surprisingly little hype when firstly the Senegalese signed from Southampton and then the Egyptian from Roma – but now both are rightly recognised as two of the planet’s best – following their joint Premier League Golden Boot win and their goals that led to our Champions League triumph.
Keita probably arrived with more fanfare than Mane and Salah; especially as we had to wait a year to get his transfer over the line – but unlike hie fellow Africans – he failed to hit the ground running.
But the 24-year-old has faith that he’ll find a role in our side and produce the goods consistently – starting next season – thanks to Jurgen Klopp.
“Klopp knows how to treat players and help them, he always talks with everyone on and off the pitch and helps them to improve. He can make you give all that you have and more on the pitch,” Keita told Goal.
“People can see how he improved Salah and Mane and I hope he can do the same with me next season.”
Keita struggled with niggling injuries throughout his debut campaign, which undeniably affected his ability to settle.
Towards the end of the campaign though Keita started to play well – and the fact Klopp decided to start him against Barcelona at the Camp Nou suggests the manager had truly began to trust him tactically.
The key for Keita now is that he gets through the AFCON fit and healthy, and then enjoys a productive pre-season under Klopp’s tutelage.
Getting in the team will be hard at the beginning of next term due to the competition for places in midfield, but we’d argue he’s the most talented of the lot.