LIVERPOOL star Naby Keita admits he joined the Reds to play in huge matches like this afternoon’s clash with Tottenham.
The dynamic midfielder agreed a move to Anfield last summer but Jurgen Klopp had to wait a year to get his man from RB Leipzig.
However it appears to have been worth the wait.
Keita has impressed for Liverpool so far, with his energy and passing ability providing new dimensions in midfield.
The Guinea international was brought in as part of Klopp’s £175m sumer spending spree as he looks to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title.
“That is what I have come here for, games like that.”
Liverpool star Naby Keita
Liverpool have been in stunning form so far, winning all four games and conceding just once.
But they face their toughest test so far today as they visit a Tottenham side that eased to a 3-0 win at Manchester United less than two weeks ago.
And Keita has revealed that competitive games at the top of the league motivated his decision to sign.
“I can smell it in the dressing room,” he told The Times.
“Everyone is motivated by that fixture list. I can smell it.
“That is what I have come here for, games like that.
“I think we are all here to make a difference.”
Despite his impressive start, Keita found himself benched for the win at Leicester before the international break.
But rather than faze the 23-year-old, the snub inspired him to work harder to win his place back.
“I was brought off,” he added.
“But it is just a case of getting your head down and working harder.
“The game is very quick here.
“When you build up from defence in Germany it is slower.
“And it is physical here.
“The referees let more go as well.
“People get stuck in and a lot less is blown up than in Germany.
“The game flows more so it is faster and it is tougher physically.”
This afternoon’s clash kicks off at 12.30pm.