There’s been a lot of expectations on Naby Keita since he joined Liverpool, and rightfully so. Brought in to fill a fairly big space left in the midfield that we’re pretending we don’t need filled - that’s a challenge all on it’s own. Struggling to adjust wouldn’t be the right way to put it either, given he hasn’t exactly had the chance to really prove himself within the squad. This team just hasn’t quite clicked yet and as such, neither has Naby. He’s also been sidelined with a hamstring injury for a few weeks, so there’s that.
His “brother” and best friend forever Sadio Mane has loads of hope for him, though.
“I always said, I knew Naby since Red Bull Salzburg because we played together. He is a great player and also young; he still has a lot to learn and improve,” Mane told Premier League Productions.
“When he came he surprised everyone but not me, because I know him. I’m sure he will do great things for us. Now he is back with the team and we are happy to have him. I’m looking forward to seeing him helping the team as he can.”
Mane himself of course has been an essential part of Liverpool’s unbeaten run this season, leading the club in goals so far. His link up play with Keita, whenever we’ve seen it, has truly been impressive, so knowing that Keita can only get better from here is a balm for the worries that are plaguing any fan right now. (Like that pesky ‘how do we score more goals and win more convincingly and not just get by?’ one).
Despite the unbeaten run in the league, it hasn’t been the fluid, enjoyable football we’re all used to watching. A lot of the wins and the few draws we’ve face have been white knuckle teeth gritting affairs that we’ve barely scraped through. It happens to all teams and was bound to happen to Liverpool.
“It can happen sometimes,” Mane continued. “Maybe in a few games we haven’t played as we can, and expect to, play but we have to deal with it and try to work as hard as we can, and push individually to do better again.
“We could do better – that’s part of football. We’d love to do better for the team and the club. We have had a better start than last season, now we have important games coming and we’re going to try to do our best.”
That’s all they can do I guess!