Naby Keita netted his fifth goal of the campaign for RB Leipzig as the soon-to-be Liverpool midfielder helped his side to a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Keita will join the Reds in a £55 million deal next summer, but for now his attentions remained focused on Leipzig, and their pursuit of the Bundesliga title.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side welcomed Bremen to the Red Bull Arena as they looked to keep up the pressure on Bayern Munich at the top of the table.
Keita lined up alongside Diego Demme in the Leipzig midfield, with Emil Forsberg and Kevin Kampl supporting the attacking duo of Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen.
After a slow start to the season, the 22-year-old is finding form in the middle of the park for Leipzig.
And this was on show on Saturday, with Keita scoring just after the half-hour mark, latching onto an error from Thomas Delaney to fire the ball past Jiri Pavlenka from outside the area.
Leipzig maintained control despite a back-and-forth contest that saw the home side enjoy just 53.6 percent of the possession.
Hassenhuttl’s men did fire six shots on target to Bremen’s three, however, with their clinical edge shining through as Bernado sealed the victory late on.
Keita was involved in everything good for Leipzig, with the most touches of any player (107), and the joint-most passes (77), along with Demme.
The Guinean also made the joint-most successful tackles of any player (five), as well as the joint-most interceptions (four), while only Forsberg (three) created more chances (two).
Keita’s all-round quality will be a welcome addition to the Liverpool midfield next season, with Klopp identifying the youngster as his ideal signing.
In securing an early deal to bring Keita to Anfield, the Reds pipped competition from Barcelona, as Leipzig’s head of football, Oliver Mintzlaff, explained this week.
“Naby was very enthralled by Liverpool, and Jurgen Klopp in particular,” he told Sport Bild.
“It’s understandable that this was something that went through his head because he could earn many times what he gets from us.
“[Interest] was confirmed to us also from Barcelona. However, they didn’t put in as much gas as Liverpool.”
Keita has now scored five goals this season, with Saturday’s strike following an effort in Tuesday night’s 4-1 win away to Monaco in the Champions League.
That means he’s already over halfway to his total of eight goals last season.