Naby Keita has explained the role that “big brother” – and future Liverpool team-mate – Sadio Mane has had on his career so far.
Keita is set to move to The Reds for a fee in the region of £48million next summer after the Anfield club agreed a future deal with his current side RB Leipzig.
The move will mark the latest chapter in a remarkable rise for the all-action midfielder, who was playing in Ligue 2 for FC Istres just three years ago.
He joined Red Bull Salzburg in 2014, where he first came across “big brother” Mane, who was coming to the end of his time in the Austrian Premier League before eventually heading to Merseyside.
“At first, I wasn’t starting and it was very frustrating,” Keita told Goal. “I didn’t like it and it made the settling-in period harder. But Sadio said: ‘My little brother, stay calm. Your chance will come and when it does, you will make the most of it.’
“He helped me with everything – the language, making friends, understanding the club and the city. And, of course, he was right. Once I was put into the team, I showed my qualities and everything went much smoother.
“Salzburg improved me as a player and I learnt so much there, I got a really tactical education.
“Sadio was important for me, he still is! To me, he’s my big brother. He really likes to learn new things, to improve and to push himself and we are the same in this way. He’s a good example for me.”
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