Klopp jokingly says he’s unsure whether Keita loves Liverpool yet

Date published: Tuesday 21st August 2018 10:24 - Matthew Briggs

Naby Keita TEAMtalk

Jurgen Klopp says he is unsure whether Naby Keita loves Liverpool because he is so quiet in training.

Keita arrived from RB Leipzig this summer after his transfer was lined up in the summer of 2017 with the Reds paying around £52.75million after the German side qualified for the Europa League.

The Liverpool new boy played 87 minutes and put in an impressive performance with one sparkling turn, some powerful running and precise passing. It was just his second Premier League appearance in last night’s 2-0 win at Crystal Palace and Klopp believes he has the potential to become an even more well-rounded player.

Klopp told MNF Football: “He’s very shy and not very extroverted but on the pitch you don’t see it. He needs to settle a little bit. He’s next to Sadio all the time [in training].

“Everybody loves Naby but I don’t know if he loves us because he doesn’t speak a lot. But football-wise you can see the potential is outstanding but we have to give him time.

“Defensively he’s very stable in his challenges. Tactically he can improve, and he must improve, but what else I don’t know.”

Klopp was happy with the work-rate of his side at Selhurst Park, although he admitted some of his players have plenty of improvement in them.

“There are not a lot of teams in the world who can line up [Andros] Townsend, [Wilfried] Zaha, [Christian] Benteke, [Luka] Milivojevic and all these players. They have a lot of very good players,” added Klopp.

“They caused us as many problems as possible with these long balls and then if you win the second one, they try to get in behind really quickly in one-on-one situations with Zaha.

“We were there and helped each other to avoid big problems but it was not a brilliant performance from us.

“A lot of players can play 70 per cent or 80 per cent better; it would have helped but we worked really hard and that’s absolutely OK. I’m happy with the performance and very happy with the result.”

Jurgen Klopp TEAMtalk

Klopp also refused to be drawn on whether Liverpool could be title contenders this season.

“It’s very early. I couldn’t care less and it’s not important.

“We are not in a race with other Premier League teams each week saying ‘wow, they’ve scored these goals’. I was not 100 per cent sure in the first half we’d score [against Palace] but you have to be a real challenger and that’s what we are each week,” he added.

 

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