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Fans call for Jota to start for Liverpool against West Ham

Diogo Jota has really flourished when selected to feature in Liverpool’s starting XI this season and he has given Jurgen Klopp a lot to think about from an attacking sense.

The Portugal international has scored in back-to-back matches following his latest effort during a 2-0 victory against FC Midtjylland on Tuesday night – it proved to be Liverpool’s 10,000th goal in all competitions since the club was founded back in 1892.

Such sustained brilliance in the attacking line-up has added to a growing case that Klopp needs to keep Jota in the team for the foreseeable future.

One reason he could still be left out of Saturday’s clash with West Ham at Anfield is if Klopp decides to revert to a 4-3-3 system.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: Diogo Jota of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Liverpool FC and FC Midtjylland at Anfield on October 27, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The Liverpool boss is still to drop either Roberto Firmono, Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane for a Premier League match as of yet this season meaning Jota’s only start in the league came as a result of Klopp adding another attacking option to the team’s formation.

Jota has stepped up in practically every fixture he has featured for Liverpool since his £41 million move from Wolves last month meaning Klopp should feel more than comfortable in entrusting the Portuguese talisman from the off at the weekend once again.

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Fans call for Jota to stay in the team

So where does Jota best fit in?

This, of course, is Klopp’s big dilemma. His recent tactical changes indicate that Jota has been identified as a long-term solution if Liverpool are to combat their ongoing injury struggles.

The 4-2-3-1 system enabled Jota to start alongside Liverpool’s pedigreed front-three for the first time as he became the first player since Sadio Mane in 2016 to score in his first two home Premier League appearances for the club after heading home the winning goal.

So it could be that Klopp looks to start Jota out on the right flank again against West Ham. He featured there against both Sheffield United and FC Midtjylland in recent days.

The dilemma here, of course, is that adding another attacking player requires a midfielder to be sacrificed from the starting XI.

Considering Thiago Alcantara is in contention to feature against West Ham, either Jordan Henderson or Georginio Wijnaldum would have to make way to if the Spanish international was to return to the first-team on Saturday.

Also, given that Liverpool are in need of someone who can control the tempo of a match to take the pressure away from a depleted defensive unit, Thiago has become an indispensable asset to Klopp this season.

There are no easy decisions for Klopp, but it feels given the experimentation in the formation that Jota’s place in the team has become much more secure in just a few short weeks.

Liverpool’s Portuguese striker Diogo Jota puts the ball into an empty net to open the scoring during the UEFA Champions league Group D football match between Liverpool and Midtjylland at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on October 27, 2020. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

 

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