By 90Min
June 20, 2019

Naby Keita is hoping Jurgen Klopp can use his magic to help re-discover his best form and help him develop into a superstar like teammates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

After much fanfare over his £52m arrival, Keita endured a stop-start maiden season as a Liverpool player and found it difficult to stamp his authority down on the Premier League.

The Guinean played 33 times in 2018/19 but scored just goals as he struggled to find a regular spot in a central midfield amid strong competition from Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum, James Milner and Fabinho. 

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However, Keita showed glimpses of the player he could be towards the end of the season, as he scored and put in a man of the match display against Porto in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, before being injured against Barcelona in the semis.

Looking to make more improvement next season, the 24-year-old told Goal how he is backing Klopp to get the best out of him as he has with Liverpool's other stars.

Keita is quoted as saying: "Klopp knows how to treat players and help them, he always talks with everyone on and off the pitch and helps them improve.

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"People can see how he improved Salah and Mane and I hope he can do the same with me next season."

He also identified that his struggles last season could have been due to the positional changes he made and a need for time to adapt to English football.

He added: "I was a playmaker in Leipzig. I took the ball with more freedom to do what I want, playing the ball to strikers and wingers to assist or get in front of goal and score.

"My first year was about adapting with the team and to the Premier League. There are big differences between football in Germany and England, and also between Leipzig and Liverpool, in my duties and the way of playing. I hope things will be even better next year."

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Keita's good end to the season was cut short after suffering an injury against Barcelona, which robbed him of the chance of playing a part in the Champions League final. However, Keita believes the victory against Spurs is only a sign of things to come - for him personally and the club.

He said: "We won the Champions League for the first time since 2005 and were competing for the Premier League until the last match, so of course it was good for the team and for me to be a part of this in my first season.

"Like I said before, I was adapting with the team and to football in England, so I hope I can help my team more by winning the Premier League next season."

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