Midfielder admits difficult start to Prem life after £52m Liverpool arrival

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Naby Keita of Liverpool controls the ball during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United at Anfield on August 12, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Naby Keita has admitted that although he is settling in well at Liverpool, life in the Premier League has been ‘tough’ to start with.

Keita joined the Reds for £52.75m this summer, having agreed to move to Anfield from RB Leipzig 12 months ago.

He has impressed in his nascent spell in England thus far, with Liverpool topping the table.

Keita says that is down to a combination of being both ‘a team player’, but also doing everything possible to top his own personal records.

“I think it’s fair to say that the Premier League is a tough league,” Keita told the official 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 teammates, but for the club.

“Everybody around me has been very supportive towards me so I am certainly giving everything I can to get settled into the team quickly.

“Competition for places in midfield is something that can only help the team.

Naby Keita Liverpool
“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.

“First and foremost, I should say that I’m very much a team player and I always think about the team first.

“The Premier League is different to other leagues where I have played and everybody knows it is very tough, but I will do my best to beat my own personal records.

“I’m the kind of person who thinks that if I score eight goals in one season my objective must be to score nine goals in the following season. That’s the kind of mentality I have.”