Monday 23 July 2018

Naby Keita receives number 8 shirt at Liverpool from Steven Gerrard

New Liverpool signing Naby Keita has been allocated the number eight shirt next season - and he was presented with it by the previous incumbent Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard wore the jersey for 11 years at Anfield, famously lifting the Champions League trophy in it in 2005, and Keita is the first player to take it since the former midfielder's departure for Los Angeles Galaxy in 2014.

Keita, who starts pre-season training on Monday, travelled to Liverpool's Melwood training ground last August after a deal with RB Leipzig was agreed and, while he was there, Gerrard, then the club's under-18s coach, handed him his shirt.

"It was an incredible day for me. He gave me the number eight jersey. When it happened, it was a surprise and I didn't expect it," Keita told LFCTV.

"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 and do as much as he did - that's my motivation."

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