One of the few hindrances to having an established, world-class talent in your team is that when you need to rest them, the player coming into replace them often cannot perform to the same levels. Tottenham Hotspur have had it for years with Harry Kane, but will be hopeful that the addition of Carlos Vinicius will go some way to fixing that. Liverpool had the same problem with any of their front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, as the team often noticeably struggled more when Divock Origi was given the nod instead. However, Liverpool again attempted to ease that issue in the summer with the addition of Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Portuguese winger was expected to come in and provide some much-needed quality back-up. Given how he has started the season, though, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp may want to start figuring out a plan to get him in the starting line-up.
Diogo Jota Settling in Quickly at Liverpool
One Start But Plenty of Good Performances
Jota may only have one start for his new club currently to his name (and unfortunately that was the 7-2 hammering against Aston Villa), but many have been impressed by his cameos in other matches, two of which have led to goals.
On his first Premier League outing for the Reds, against Arsenal, the 23-year-old entered the pitch in the 80th minute and, eight minutes later, had his first goal for the club when he fired a low effort past Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Jota’s 12 minutes in the Merseyside Derby draw against Everton were impressive too. His fresh pace caused problems for the home team and he would have been part of the winning side had Jordan Henderson‘s late winner not been controversially ruled out by VAR.
Wednesday night’s win over Ajax in the Champions League again saw Jota enter the fray as a substitute, but he helped Liverpool continue to look dangerous as they closed out a narrow 1-0 win in Amsterdam.
Finally, the Portuguese found the net once again on Saturday evening as Liverpool edged past Sheffield United in the Premier League. A sluggish start from the champions saw them fall behind to Sander Berge‘s penalty. However, after Roberto Firmino levelled before the break, it was Jota who provided the winning goal, showing his quality with a brilliant header from Sadio Mane’s cross.
Klopp Happy With Diogo Jota Impact
That goal ensured that the Reds were not held to what would have been a disappointing draw given the start to the season that Chris Wilder’s side have made. It also meant that Jota has two goals in just four Premier League appearances for Liverpool, with only one being a start.
It’s certainly a decent beginning to his life on Merseyside, and Reds boss Klopp is confident that he will have a bright future too.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the win against Sheffield United, Klopp said: “He’s still adapting to us, a lot of things are not natural to him that we do. “But that’s because Wolves play differently. A lot of things he did for Wolves are what we want him to do. That he is that close already is just a sign of how good a player he is, and if he stays fit, he is 23, the future is bright. We will need his quality, I’m happy with how he’s settled in.
“He’s a good player, that’s what I like about him, I said it to my coaches and said it’s so easy because he’s such a likeable person which makes everything easy. The player is quick, his physicality is strong, he’s good in the air, on the ground, but he has the quality we need, and that helps a lot.”