Diogo Jota becomes twice as valuable if Jurgen Klopp can work his magic and teach him a new trick. The winger joined Liverpool this summer.
Diogo Jota can become a fantastic player under Jurgen Klopp. There’s little doubt about that. The 23-year-old ticks all the right boxes, for one – he can press, he’s quick, he’s direct and he’s hardworking.
But Klopp could get more out of him if he teaches him a new trick.
Jota has two main positions – left-wing and striker. Per Understat, he played 16 times from the left at Wolves last season, with another 10 coming as a central forward.
Both positions have value to Liverpool, of course. The Reds had no senior cover for Sadio Mane on the left wing before Jota arrived for £41m. They only really have Divock Origi as cover up top, too, and he hasn’t performed well for a while now.
But Liverpool also lack senior cover on the right. Cover they trust, anyway. There’s Harvey Elliott, who’s still only 17. Then they have Xherdan Shaqiri and Harry Wilson – two players Liverpool tried to sell.
Jota, though, surely has the potential to cover the right-flank, too.
The Portuguese winger is very two-footed. Again per Understat, Jota had 69 shots last season. Eight of those were with his head, but the other 61 were split almost evenly. 31 with his right, 30 with his left.
That tells us that Jota is a player who is comfortable on either side. If Klopp can teach him how to play effectively from the right, it would give the player far more game time. It would also mean Mohamed Salah could move.
If Jota can play on the right, Salah can play games down the middle. That’s especially relevant now for two reasons.
Firstly, Roberto Firmino is out of form. It may be, then, that Klopp fancies trying Salah down the middle for a few games. But we’ve also seen the boss play 4-2-3-1 in recent weeks. Salah thrives in that system.
And if Jota could play on the right, Mane could stay on the left – his best position. Then Firmino can be a no.10 and Salah the central striker. It’s potentially lethal.
It’ll be interesting to see if Klopp heads in this direction, then. The potential there could be too good to pass up.