Naby Keita re­veals ‘big brother’ re­la­tion­ship with Liver­pool star

Observer on Saturday - - Sport - Team talk

- 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

LON­DON

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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