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.
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.
Fans call for Jota to stay in the team
You can tell Klopp wants to start Jota each game but doesn’t want to drop Firmino 🤧
— 🦋 (@Miskiiii_) October 28, 2020
A great start to your LFC career! You're now well and truly written into @LFC history YNWA
— Sandra Mackenzie* PL Champions 19 times (@SandraLFC28) October 28, 2020
Jota has played himself into a starting role for our team. Scored back to back go ahead goals for us this past week. I dont think its fair to him to start Firmino over him as he continues to miss easy chances.
— TheKopYNWA (@TheKop___) October 28, 2020
Jota needs to start games now, he’s more effective in that front three. Love Bobby but with our defensive situation we need more than Bobby can offer. Jota is the solution.
— TedStriker (@TedStri10770260) October 28, 2020
Klopp is incredible. He's brought in @DiogoJota18 & the lads superb! Going to get better & better. Would start him ahead of Firmino! The boss identifies players who fit his style of play & not big name signings #LiverpoolFC
— Mehsopuria (@Mehsopuria1) October 27, 2020
Gonna say it now
Jota needs to start vs Manchester City
— Daniel (@ARedAussie) October 27, 2020
Next Match @LFC please start Mane Jota and Salah as the front three and revert back to 4-3-3 please. We looked terrible in the first half
— I stand Red 🔴😷 (@Virgil_VanD) October 27, 2020
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.
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