Keita: I’m already in tune with Salah, Mane and Firmino
Naby Keita may only be six weeks into his Liverpool career, but the No.8 feels he is already on the same wavelength as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
A series of eye-catching performances during the Reds’ pre-season friendly programme offered evidence as to why Jürgen Klopp brought Keita to Anfield this summer.
The Guinea international has counted Mane as a close friend since their respective spells at RB Salzburg overlapped briefly in 2014, and he is enjoying playing alongside the Senegalese, Salah and Firmino - who scored 91 goals between them in 2017-18 - along with the rest of his new teammates.
Keita told Liverpoolfc.com: “Over the course of pre-season we’ve all done a lot of work, I think we’re all at a good level of preparation.
“It’s not been too hard for me [to get used to playing with his new teammates]. I have a very good relationship already established with the three forwards particularly - Sadio, Roberto Firmino and Salah.
“Obviously we’ve done work together as a unit, but it’s not been difficult either with the rest of the team. We’ve all been working very well together and hopefully this is going to help us on Sunday to put it into practice in the league.
“The three forwards, obviously they’ve got experience together and they’re all very fast players. They think quickly [and] they have a very good understanding between themselves so my role is to support that, help in every way I can and hopefully provide them with some good service.”
Highlights: Reds wrap up pre-season by beating Torino
Liverpool’s Premier League campaign gets under way with a home game against West Ham United on Sunday - five days after Torino were defeated 3-1 at Anfield in their final pre-season friendly.
And Keita, who played the first half of that win over the Serie A side, is relishing the prospect of performing in front of the Kop in a competitive setting.
“I was very happy to play of course, not only to get to know the pitch but to get the opportunity before the league commences to play with some of my teammates and to feel the atmosphere. I thought it was a great experience,” the 23-year-old said.
“Of course we’re all very motivated for the first match of the season, we’ve all worked very hard this week and it’s important now to go out there on Sunday and show the results of that pre-match preparation.
“Obviously for the fans as well it’s very important to get the first home match under your belt, so we’re going to give everything we can to go out there and hopefully come back with three points.”
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