Diogo Jota has a unique skill at Liverpool that makes him a threat the Reds simply haven’t had before. The forward is on fire right now.
Six goals in four games – and he hasn’t even finished a full 90 minutes in any of them. Diogo Jota is thriving at Liverpool and it’s largely thanks to a skill the Reds have lacked.
It was on display best against Atalanta. Jota bagged a hattrick in Bergamo and what a hattrick it was – Atalanta just couldn’t handle him. And it’s the fact he’s two-footed that made that happen.
For just how two-footed Jota is, we can turn to understat.com. They list the amount of shots players have with either foot and their head. Jota’s figures are quite remarkable.
Last season, Jota had 69 shots for Wolves. Eight of these were with his head and then he split the remaining 61 almost perfectly – 31 with his right, 30 with his left.
Now, nearly all of his key passes came with his right foot (22 out of 29) but when it comes to finishing, Jota is as two-footed as it gets.
Just watch his goals against Atalanta. His first comes from a burst in behind and a delicate chip with his left foot after holding off a defender. It’s wonderful skill as he never actually takes a first-touch. Jota simply waits until he’s seen off the defender and takes whatever finish he can.
His third goal is relatively similar. Jota again runs behind the defence, this time on the left. He rounds the keeper this time, taking a first-touch with his right and finishing with his left.
But nothing shows it better than his second goal. Joe Gomez floats a pass into the box, Jota controls it into space with his left and smashes it home with his right. Two touches, one with either foot, and it’s a goal.
So how does this benefit Liverpool?
Liverpool are a team that trive on quick attacks. They want to win the ball back and attack as soon as possible, catching the defence off guard.
And that blends perfectly with a forward who’s two-footed. Jota is capable of finishing whatever chance you present him, be it on either foot or with any available space.
Both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah – the regular goalscorers – are quite one-footed. Mane is certainly more two-footed than Salah but predominantly right-footed.
Jota offers something different, then, and it’s a real threat down the middle. He can strike comfortably in a flash, as we saw with all three goals v Atalanta. There’s little doubt that his skill is going to make him a star at Anfield.