Liverpool’s Naby Keita has spoken of his motivation to hit the ground running in the 'tough' Premier League after making the switch from the Bundesliga.
The Guinea international, signed from RB Leipzig this summer, has featured in all four of Liverpool’s victories in the league this season – starting in three of them – but says he is wary of the number of overseas players who have taken time to adapt to the Premier League’s physicality.
“I think it’s fair to say that the Premier League is a tough league,” Keita told Liverpool FC Magazine.
“I’m very motivated to be playing in it – it’s an attractive proposition – but I’ve been told by many people that a lot of overseas players come into the Premier League and they take time to integrate, depending on the circumstances.
“So playing in the Premier League can be difficult, but I am very motivated to play here, not just for myself and my team-mates, but for the club.”
Keita, who scored 17 goals across 71 appearances during two seasons with Leipzig, has impressed since making the switch to England, receiving positive reviews for his energy and directness at the heart of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.
“Everybody around me has been very supportive towards me so I am certainly giving everything I can to get settled into the team quickly,” said Keita.
Liverpool sit top of the early-season Premier League table after a perfect start, off the back of an ambitious summer of transfer activity which saw the club break the world transfer record for a goalkeeper to bring in Brazilian number one Alisson. Fellow new signing Fabinho is yet to make an appearance in midfield.
“Competition for places in midfield is something that can only help the team,” said Keita.
“Obviously the coach will go ahead and make his choices and I am sure he will choose the best players at the time for each match as they come along. That way, everybody gives their best throughout the season and I think it also gets the best out of everybody.”
The Reds face Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday following the conclusion of the international break.