Naby Keita Joins Liverpool, Given Number 8 Shirt

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Liverpool has officially announced their signing of Naby Keita, who will be given the number 8 shirt which was last worn by former captain Steven Gerrard, according to ESPN FC’s Glenn Price.

Keita, 23, will officially become a Liverpool player on July 1.

Gerard met Keita during his first visit to Melwood shortly after a transfer had been agreed to back in August.

“It was an incredible day for me,” Keita explained,¬†according toLiverpool’s website. “He gave me the No. 8 jersey. When it happened, it was a surprise and I didn’t expect it.

“When he came in, I looked and him and said ‘Wow,’ because he is a legend. He is somebody who always showed respect, who gave his all on the pitch, somebody who is loved here. If somebody like that gives you his shirt number, it’s not to play around with, it is to try [to] do as much as he did. That’s my motivation.”

“I am really looking forward to it,” he said. “It obviously starts next week and I am looking forward to meeting my new teammates and getting started.”

“Firstly, I am somebody who plays in a defensive role and we need to start with that, but then I need to bring the ball forward and help the attack,” Keita said. “I’ve always got a desire to win — I believe I’m a winner.”