Premier League news and gossip: Naby Keita, Benjamin Mendy, Willian, Eric Dier
Five things to know today about English football’s top-flight
Klopp: just what we expected from Keita
Liverpool fans were delighted with Naby Keita’s impressive Premier League debut, but Reds boss Jurgen Klopp says it’s no more than the club expected from the talented midfielder.
Keita played a starring role as Liverpool thrashed West Ham 4-0 at Anfield yesterday, first playing in central midfield before later moving into a more forward position.
Speaking about the 23-year-old’s all-action display, Klopp told the Daily Express: “A good performance, of course. Naby is in because he is a really good footballer and from the beginning he has settled really quick. Similar style of play, similar positions as he had at Leipzig. I’m pleased, absolutely, but that’s what we expect.”
Although Keita has only made one competitive appearance for Liverpool since his £54m move from RB Leipzig, The Sportsman reports that the odds on him winning the 2018-19 Premier League PFA Player of the Year title have been slashed from 20-1 to 12-1.
Reds stars dominate Sky team of the week
Naby Keita is one of five Liverpool players named in Sky Sports’ Premier League team of the weekend by pundit Dennis Wise. Former Chelsea captain Wise singles out Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker for praise, along with forward Sadio Mane and defenders Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk.
Dennis Wise’s team of the weekend:
- Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker (Liverpool)
- Defenders: Kyle Walker (Manchester City); Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham); Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool); Andy Robertson (Liverpool)
- Midfielders: Jorginho (Chelsea); Ruben Neves (Wolves); Paul Pogba (Manchester United); Naby Keita (Liverpool)
- Forwards: Sadio Mane (Liverpool); Richarlison (Everton)
Pep: stop being so social, Benjamin
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits that he sometimes “wants to kill” left-back Benjamin Mendy and has urged the French star to cut down on his social media usage.
Speaking after the 2-0 win against Arsenal, Guardiola said via City’s Twitter account: “@benmendy23 is Mendy. Sometimes we want to kill him and sometimes you think wow what a player we have. He gives us energy. Mendy has a lot of things to improve and hopefully we can convince him to forget a little bit the social media and improve a few things.”
Mendy replied on Twitter: “I will I promise.”
Willian: I would have left had Conte stayed
Chelsea midfielder Willian gave a brutally honest answer after being asked if he would have stayed had Antonio Conte remained in charge - “No chance”. The Brazilian was linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid this summer but has remained at Stamford Bridge under new boss Maurizio Sarri. Following Chelsea’s 3-0 win at Huddersfield, he told the Daily Mail: “Would I be here if Conte stayed? No chance. No. I’m here because I want to play for Chelsea. I will only leave if Chelsea want me to go.”
Dier: Spurs will shut up critics
Eric Dier is keen to “shut up” Tottenham’s critics after the north London club failed to buy any players in the summer transfer window. Speaking to ESPN, the England star said: “It’s a great challenge for us to shut everyone up, really. We’re going to enjoy that challenge. We’ve got a fantastic squad here, fantastic players throughout the team in every position. To strengthen it is not easy as well. You can look at all the other teams around us - they might have signed players, but not many of those players that they’ve signed are better than the players they’ve already got.”