Liverpool had to wait for Naby Keïta. RB Leipzig’s decision to stand their ground and force him to stay for one more year was frustrating for Jürgen Klopp’s side, who surely would’ve benefited from his quality in midfield sooner. But Naby Keïta had to wait for Liverpool, too. It was undoubtedly a strange feeling for him to watch the club making the Champions League final knowing he so easily could’ve been there.
Now he is here, and he’s happy to tell us all about himself.
“I am someone who has this real winning mentality”, Keïta told The Independent. “I have a huge desire to win”.
Talking a bit more about his style of play, Keïta said that he is “aggressive in a positive sense on the field”, and that his “first mind-set when I am out on the field is to defend well and not concede. As a midfielder, when you have sealed things up at the back, my job is to provide the ammunition for the strikers and forwards, to create opportunities for them. Also, if I get a chance that comes my way, I want to take it and score.
“But I am a team player. I think about the team and the group always”.
Talking more about his mentality, something that is clearly important to him, Keïta added that his “long-term aim has always been to play football at the highest level I possibly could. When that is in your mind you don’t give up, you constantly fight and battle to make that happen. But that isn’t to say that now I am at a massive club I am going to relax and to stop fighting and battling. I am still going to be the same”.
After having to wait so long for him, it’s great to see Naby Keïta in a red shirt, talking about his plans at the club. With his almost unique combination of outstanding work rate combined with excellent technique and dribbling skills, he should hopefully help give a new edge to the midfield and bring Liverpool closer to the title than ever.