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27th Jun 2018

Liverpool fitness coach reveals Naby Keita detail that will impress supporters

No doubting Keita's commitment

Darragh Murphy

Naby Keita can never be accused of half-heartedness, that’s for sure.

Keita made a name for himself in the Bundesliga with his no-nonsense tackling and he clearly isn’t one who shies away from a challenge.

After his move from RB Leipzig was finally confirmed this week, Keita let Liverpool supporters know where his head was by insisting on taking over the No 8 jersey at Anfield, following on from club legend Steven Gerrard.

“It was an incredible day for me. He (Gerrard) gave me the No 8 jersey. When it happened, it was a surprise and I didn’t expect it,” Keita said.

“When he came in, I looked at him and said, ‘wow’ because he is a legend. He is somebody who always showed respect, who gave his all on the pitch, somebody who is loved here.

“If somebody like that gives you his shirt number, it’s not to play around with, it is to try and do as much as he did – that’s my motivation.”

Keita wasn’t officially scheduled to join his new teammates for preseason training until July 2 but, in a move that will definitely prove popular among supporters, the Guinea international insisted upon beginning training a week early to ensure that he will be at his fittest come the start of his debut Premier League season.

The Mirror‘s David Maddock revealed that the midfielder had specifically requested to be put through his paces by Liverpool fitness coach Conall Murtagh on Wednesday afternoon.

“Firstly I am somebody that plays in a defensive role and we need to start with that,” Keita told LFC TV. “But then I need to bring the ball forward and help the attack.

“I’ve always got a desire to win – I believe I’m a winner.”