Naby Keita is confident he can give Liverpool’s midfield the boost it needs to fill the void left by the injured Fabinho.
The Reds suffered a setback this week when Fabinho sustained ankle ligament damage in Wednesday’s win over Napoli which will rule him out of action until the new year.
Fabinho has been one of Jurgen Klopp’s more consistent performers in their title charge, and the German boss described his loss as “really bad”.
But Klopp also declared it was “an opportunity for somebody else”, and Keita is hopeful now is his time to shine.
“I would love to be involved,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “My injury put me back a bit but now I feel as though I am back. I’ve been quite pleased with my form but I’d like to do better.
“I feel that, if I get to play in a lot of matches, I can really try to help the team. I try to play every training session as if it were a match and I always try to raise my game.
“I raise my head and hope to be selected to go out there and play and win.”
Keita, 24, has struggled with a number of injury problems since his £54 million move to Liverpool last summer.
The sucker blow for the Guinean came when he was forced to miss Liverpool’s Champions League final win over Tottenham in June.
He added: “It was quite hard for me. All players dream of playing in a big final like that and it would have been great for me.
“I was rather sad and I can’t say it didn’t affect me.”
Whether he can work his way into Klopp’s starting XI remains to be seen, but the Reds manager was adamant that Keita and other stars like Xherdan Shaqiri will get their chance.
“We have guys with a lack of minutes for different reasons, like Shaq and Naby,” Klopp said.