Liverpool’s £45 million [BBC] signing of Diogo Jota represents the club’s first major big-money attacking addition at the club since Mohamed Salah arrived on Merseyside back in 2017.
It’s a deal that caught us all a little by surprise as the Portugal international was barely linked with the Reds until 24 hours prior to his arrival.
It’s completely different to the series of events that persisted with the transfer saga involving Thiago Alcantara, who was extensively touted with a move to Liverpool for the best part of three months.
Despite the difference in the emergence of both respective deals, Liverpool have pulled off two financially outstanding examples of business that will ensure the squad is significantly strengthened for this season without the risk of spending outside the club’s means.
Liverpool get their man
In the long-term, Jota’s arrival from Wolverhampton represents a big investment from Liverpool’s behalf despite only having to spend just 10 per cent of his initial £41m deal up-front.
The 23-year-old forward will instantly improve Jurgen Klopp’s array of attacking options and will enable the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to be managed better and rested more frequently.
He is renowned for his ability to impact the game in terms of both goals and assists. Last season he scored 16 goals and registered six assists in 48 appearances in all competitions.
It’s a signing that perhaps is more left-field considering he wasn’t an obvious choice amongst supporters as a player that should be considered by Liverpool to inject much-needed depth into the squad.
The next Mane?
Jota’s addition does draw some similar comparisons to that of Mane, who joined the club for a £34 million [BBC] fee back in 2016 from Southampton – a side who back then had similar aspirations to Wolves of breaking into Europe.
Both players take on a more selfless approach and don’t mind the confrontational aspects of the game and are prepared to get stuck in.
Statistically, both players are similar in terms of goal output. Mane scored 11 goals and provided six assists for Southampton prior to his move to Liverpool which is five goals short of Jota’s total for last season.
They also match up similarly in terms of dribbles per game (PG). Jota averaged a total of 1.9 dribbles PG compared to Mane’s 2.1 according to WhoScored.
In terms of key passes, Jota averaged 0.9 whereas Mane again just came out on top with 1.1. It was the latter again who came out on top in terms of shot PG as Mane averaged 2.3 in comparison to Jota who clocked up 2.
The similarities indicate that when put in a system that enables the attacking system to thrive similarly to that of Liverpool, then there is every possibility that Jota’s game could be elevated in an identical upward trajectory to Mane.
It’s important for Klopp that he has a character who can seriously push Liverpool’s pedigreed front-three to maintain their standards and oppose a threat to potentially take up one of the places in the forward line.
Jota’s versatility and ability to play on both the right and left flanks of the attack was one of the standout reasons which forced Klopp’s hand to invest a sum of money that effectively makes him Liverpool’s fourth most expensive signing in its history, behind just Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker and Naby Keita.
The addition of Jota has capped off what has been an outstanding summer window for Liverpool, and their ability to go under the radar and get such an exciting deal over the line so quickly typifies why once again, Klopp and his English champions will firmly be favourites to reclaim their title.
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