By 90Min
August 12, 2018

To many, Naby Keita was an unknown quantity of sorts heading into his first competitive 90 minutes as a Liverpool player against West Ham United on Sunday. 

The 23-year-old, who had spent the previous four years between two Red Bull clubs, most recently RB Leipzig, has gradually made a name for himself in the Bundesliga by becoming the bar-setting box-to-box midfielder. 

The Guinea international's powerful runs from deep, intricate footwork, range of passing and - over the past 12 months, in particular - thriving relationships with a forward line including the likes of Timo Werner, Youssef Poulsen and Emil Forsberg made him a force to be reckoned with on the continent. 

Nevertheless, when players from the likes of Germany's top-tier join a Premier League outfit the age-old cliche of needing time to bed in often rings true. 

However, as was evident on Sunday afternoon as Liverpool breezed past West Ham 4-0 at Anfield, for Keita, it took only eight minutes. 

On that mark, it was already clear to see the talent Jurgen Klopp was desperate to add to his squad, and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp, almost in awe of the creator, certainly agreed, stating, as quoted by the Daily Mirror"Naby Keita, he's been here eight minutes but it looks like he's been here eight years.


"He's got a fantastic relationship with Sadio Mane already; he's always looking to feed him." 

And shortly after the former Tottenham Hotspur man's early remark, Keita justified the praise by playing a pivotal role in his new side's opener as he drove through midfield before feeding Andrew Robertson - who grabbed his first assist of the term as Mohamed Salah tucked home from close range. 

And as the game developed, as did the big-money summer signing, with Redknapp going on to add: "Keita has been the main man".


For those who have followed Liverpool's pre-season closely this year, it may come as little surprise to see the relationships between the 23-year-old and his team-mates flourishing after such a short space of time, with the player hinting to the club's official website that was the case ahead of his first Premier League outing. 

"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."

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