Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Diogo Jota is still no closer to a return to the first team following his knee injury sustained on December 7. The Portugal international is still set to miss a minimum of three weeks.
Jota, 24, hasn’t played for Liverpool since the Champions League dead-rubber away to FC Midtjylland. And as a result, he has missed eight matches for his new club side.
Prior to his setback, Jota was in the form of his life following a £45 million [BBC] move from Wolves in the summer.
Despite his sustained absence, Jota – who earns £90,000-a-week, as per Spotrac – is still Liverpool’s second-highest scorer this season with nine goals – eight of which, came in his previous eight starts for the Reds.
With Jota out of the team, Liverpool’s goalscoring exploits have dried up in recent weeks. The English champions have failed to score in their last three matches, after all, and have just one win in four.
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However, Klopp has confirmed that the wait for the former Atletico Madrid forward to return will go on.
Klopp has told Goal that Jota will be out of action for the next few weeks, ruling him out some big matches in the process.
“Diogo is a few weeks away,” Klopp said. “Will not be next one or two. He needs time. How much I miss him is not important. I am not allowed to miss him. He is not there and we deal with it.”
A big miss
This is the last thing supporters will want to hear as we build up to another critical period of the season.
Liverpool are due to travel to Old Trafford on Sunday in the FA Cup, before a trip to the capital follows days later against Tottenham Hotspur the following Thursday.
And on February 7 – just over a fortnight’s time – the English champions host last season’s runners-up Manchester City at Anfield.
The following fixture, too, is another huge encounter for Klopp and his players as Liverpool travel to the King Power Stadium to face Brendan Rodgers’ high-flying Leicester.
That is potentially four gargantuan fixtures Jota could miss as a result of his knee problem. This is a huge blow, particularly during a period where goal-fest has turned into famine for Klopp’s Reds.
In Jota’s absence, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are going to have to step up immeasurably to get Liverpool back on track.