Keita Balde

Senegal winger Keita Balde completed his loan move to Italian Serie A club Inter Milan on a one-year loan from French side Monaco on Monday.

Inter have paid a loan fee of US $5.70 million for the 23-year-old and have the option to make the move permanent.

The World Cup winger says he is happy to return to play in Italy, having played for Lazio for four seasons.

“I have experience in this league and I want to do well,” he told the club website.

“The fans are always great, I want them to be happy. I’ve come back to Italy with a great desire to play for a huge club.”

He scored 31 goals in 137 appearances for Lazio, before switching to the French principality side last August.

Despite attracting interest from other European top clubs, he chose an exciting new adventure with the 18-time Italian champions.

“I’m very happy to be here with the Inter family and I’ll give my all to make the fans happy,” said Keita, who has the option to join Inter on a permanent deal.

“With captain Mauro Icardi, we spent time together at Barcelona. I’ve known him since I was little and I also know the coach [Luciano Spaletti], he showed me a lot of support and really wanted me. I’m here for him and for the project.”

Keita played 33 times last season, scoring eight goals as Monaco finished second in Ligue 1.

Born in Girona, Spain to Senegalese parents he came through the prestigious youth ranks at Barcelona from the age of nine until 16, when he signed for Lazio in the summer of 2011.

In 2010, he was loaned to Catalan side Unió Esportiva Cornellà where Keita scored 47 goals in a single season.

The following season, Keita chose to leave Spain by moving to the Italian capital with Lazio.

Eligible for his country of birth, he opted for Senegal in 2015 and made his debut as a substitute against Niger on 26 March 2016.

He has 20 caps and three goals for the Teranga Lions, representing them at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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