It’s been a long time coming, from Liverpool first being linked with Naby Keïta last summer to their struggles to close a deal with RB Leipzip to eventually agreeing a deferred transfer to bring the midfielder to Anfield a year later. But now it’s a year later.
Naby Keïta has arrived ahead of the 2018-19 pre-season, he’s confirmed he will be wearing the number eight, and he’s settling in at his new club and looking forward to what the future holds now that he’s finally made a move that’s been a long time coming.
“I chose Liverpool because it is a team I watched often and I also spoke a lot about it with Sadio,” Keïta said of his determination to join the club, even if it meant waiting a year, and his friendship with Sadio Mané that helped to influence his decision.
“He told me a lot about the team and the club. I also spoke with the coach, who told me about the project for the team and that motivated me to be here. It is a team that can beat anybody in Europe and has a lot of potential. I can’t wait to play in this team.”
Certainly last year proved that, and as good as Liverpool were as a team last season, Keïta marks a clear midfield upgrade for the club. His arrival this summer makes a team that was already good enough to beat any other side in Europe even better.
Fans won’t have much longer to wait to see him play in red, either, with Liverpool’s first pre-season game just ten days away now against Chester on the 7th of July. Eight more pre-season matches follow before the league season kicks off in August.
“I am really looking forward to working with [Jürgen Klopp],” Keïta added. “but a lot of it depends on me and whether I have the courage to take my chance and then how I perform on the pitch if I get that chance.
“I am really looking forward to it. It obviously starts next week and I am looking forward to meeting my new teammates and getting started.”