The new signing enjoyed an eye-catching introduction against West Ham on Sunday, but his manager expected nothing less
Jurgen Klopp was not surprised by Naby Keita’s impressive Liverpool debut against West Ham, as he always expected the midfielder to settle in quickly at his new club.
Guinea international Keita was signed by Liverpool last year for a reported £53million, though he stayed at RB Leipzig for the 2017-18 season.
Liverpool’s midfield was often said to be a problem area in the last campaign due to a lack of creativity following the departure of Philippe Coutinho, while they were also hampered at times by injuries.
But Keita produced an all-action display as the Reds hammered West Ham 4-0 at Anfield on Sunday, benefiting from the hard work of his team-mates to make an instant impact.
“Absolutely a good performance, of course,” Klopp said about Keita in his post-match news conference.
“After six weeks in I don’t make the difference between a new player and another player because for me, it is of similar importance to Millie [James Milner] and Gini [Georginio Wijnaldum] are ready to make the next step in their development as well.
“So Naby is in because he’s a really good footballer and I’ve said it from the beginning that he’s obviously settled really quick and has a similar style of play in a similar position as he did at Leipzig.
“He can play different positions of course, but I think No.8 is his best in the moment, so that’s all cool.
A @premierleague debut and tonight’s winner.
“He has a lot of help from the players around. Sadio [Mane] works really hard and the same with Gini and Millie and Robbo [Andrew Robertson] in this case, so that’s really good. I’m pleased, absolutely, but actually that’s what we expected.”