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Keita vows to follow in Gerrard footsteps

Liverpool new boy Naby Keita admits being handed Steven Gerrard's number eight shirt by the man himself, will live with him forever.

The Guinea international begins pre-season training with the non-World Cup members of Jurgen Klopp's squad on Monday, having waited a year for the opportunity after a deal was agreed with RB Leipzig last summer.

And wearing the number Gerrard had for 11 years at Anfield, famously lifting the Champions League trophy in it in 2005, is a huge honour.

"It is an important number and it carries a lot of history, but more importantly for me this number will give me the motivation to play and to follow in the footsteps of the players who have worn this shirt before," Keita told LFCTV.

Keita travelled to Liverpool's Melwood training ground in August following the conclusion of a deal with Leipzig and while he was there Gerrard, then the club's under-18s coach, presented him with 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," added Keita, who scored 17 goals in 71 appearances for the Bundesliga side.

"When he came in, I looked at 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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