Xabi Alonso needs no introducing after winning the World Cup with Spain, the Champions League with Liverpool and Real Madrid and league titles in the Bundesliga and La Liga.
Not only was the Spaniard a fantastic footballer, but he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to recognising talent and he has given new Liverpool arrival Naby Keïta his personal stamp of approval.
The Guinean arrives from RB Leipzig after commanding a high transfer fee and is expected to shock Premier League clubs with his talent.
Alonso played against Keita during his time in Germany and recalled his thoughts on the new arrival while talking to Liverpool’s official website:“He’s a big personality. He has the hunger, the will to compete, and after in football terms he’s an all-round midfielder.
“[He’s] Good with the ball, he runs and dribbles very quickly with the ball, but he also likes to make things tick in the midfield.
“I think for this position in front of the holding midfielder, or even as a holding midfielder [or] close to the front three, he can have that role to find the space and to be up there. So [he’s a] good signing.”
Alonso continued: “He will have to adapt to the idea [of Klopp’s philosophy], but I don’t think that he will have many problems because he’s a great player and very complete.
“[Under] Jürgen you need to do [play like] ‘bang, bang, bang’ and if he gets it, he will do well.”
Despite his versatility and willingness to fulfill whatever role he’s asked to, Alonso believes there is one position where he thrives the most.
“[I see him as] An eight. I would say an eight,” the Spaniard said.
“Sometimes he can play as a six, but I could see him more as an eight behind the three strikers.”