Liverpool have plenty of recent history with Red Bull’s clubs in Germany and Austria, having taken on Leipzip and Salzburg in recent years in Europe, in friendlies, and having completed multiple transfers and establishing a strong backroom relationship.
It’s not a huge surprise, then, the Reds will take on both over the next week as they continue to prepare for the 2022-23 season, and having played for both before joining Liverpool means Naby Keïta is especially looking forward to the upcoming friendlies.
“I’m made up and really happy to be going back to Germany, in particular the town of Leipzig,” Keita told the club’s official website. “That’s where I really progressed as a player and that’s where Liverpool first saw me and decided to bring me to the club.
“I’ll be really happy to go back to see my old teammates and my old club. It’s a young team that plays football the right way and in a good spirit. So, I think it’s going to be a great game, a good game to help us to prepare ahead of the new season.”
That trip to Leipzig is up first for Keïta and the Reds, who travel to Germany to face last season’s fourth place Bundesliga finishers at Red Bull Arena, Leipzig edition, before taking on Salzburg in Austria next week at the Red Bull Area, Salzburg edition.
As for Keïta’s longer-term goals for the coming season, after his best—and, perhaps not coincidentally, most injury-free—season for Liverpool yet in 2021-22, the Guinean international is looking to build on that and push on for an even better 2022-23.
“Every season I set myself targets to try to compare and compete with what I have done in the previous season,” the midfielder added. “I always try to improve and achieve even more. Right from when I first started playing football, I have always been like that.
“Last season went pretty well, I played in a lot of games, which we won. This season I would like to do the same again and play in every game I can. More than anything else, it’s just to help the team out and maybe get on the scoresheet more frequently.”