RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita has claimed that many top Premier League clubs were after him in the summer. The 21-year-old Guinea star had spent a couple of seasons at RB Salzburg and was widely tipped to make a move to one of the bigger teams in the Premier League but the midfielder decided to move to Germany.
Speaking with SportNet, the midfielder also revealed why he did not move to a big club at the moment.
“Arsenal, Manchester City and Southampton were all interested in signing me and Liverpool as well, although I did not speak with their coach.
“I did not want to join a big Champions League club right away. It is too early for that. I want to prove myself in the Bundesliga first now.”
The 21-year-old does have a winning pedigree, as he did pick up a couple of Austrian Bundesliga titles with Salzburg and he could have been a great signing for the Reds as well.
Keita could have followed the same route as Sadio Mane, who also spent time at Salzburg before moving to the Premier League with Southampton. The Guinea player has had a great start to his Bundesliga career, though, having scored three goals in just six games and has helped his side to move up to second in the table behind Bayern Munich.
While Keita might be a good option to have in the side for the season, Liverpool are blessed with a lot of quality in the heart of midfield. The current trio of Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum are doing extremely well for the side and cannot be replaced by anyone else in the team.
The Reds also have the likes of Marko Grujic, Emre Can and Kevin Stewart waiting in the wings. The trio has done exceptionally well in the EFL Cup game against Tottenham and will be looking to break into the starting XI with regularity.
Keita would have probably been a squad player as he can star in an attacking role but his preferred position is that of a defensive midfielder, something that Liverpool are not blessed with. The Reds could think about signing the talented youngster next season, after paying attention to how he plays for a bigger side in a bigger league.
If the Reds do make it to the Champions League they will need quality in all departments. Keita is not the complete package yet but given the start he has had this season; big things are expected from the 21-year-old. Liverpool will do well to track him and hopefully be the first ones to move for the midfielder, should that be required.