If you had to pick a word to describe Naby Keïta’s first two appearances for Liverpool, shy most certainly wouldn’t be it. According to manager Jürgen Klopp, though, the club’s dynamic and driving new midfielder is rather reserved—at least off the pitch.
“He’s very shy and not very extroverted but on the pitch you don’t see that,” Klopp told Sky Sports following their 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace that saw Keïta playing a key role. “He still needs to settle a little bit. He’s next to Sadio [Mané] all the time [in training].”
It probably doesn’t hurt, then, that Keïta has played his first two matches on the left of midfield, linking up with Mané and left back Andy Robertson to good effect, and one can only imagine how much better he’ll be as he continues to settle with his new teammates.
“Everybody loves Naby but I don’t know if he loves us because he doesn’t speak a lot,” Klopp added with a laugh. “But football-wise you can see the potential is outstanding but we have to give him time. Tactically he can improve, but what else I don’t know.”
Hopefully, whatever else he does for Liverpool, there will be a few more moments like his daring turn to beat an onrushing Palace attacker deep in his own end on Monday that helped to launch a counter and, nearly, set up a goal for Mohamed Salah.