Liverpool are set to benefit from the long-awaited return of Diogo Jota, who is expected to return to training this week, according to reports.
This comes from The Mail. They say the Portuguese forward is on the verge of an imminent return to the first-team picture.
Much-needed Jota boost
Jota, 24, has not played for Liverpool since December 9, when he damaged knee ligaments in a Champions League Group Stage clash with FC Midtjylland.
The £41 million signing from Wolves did not require surgery but he has missed Liverpool’s previous 17 matches as a result of the setback.
Jota’s knee had been in a brace until the end of last month, and Liverpool are determined not to over exert the Reds No.20, who had been in the form of his life prior to his three-month lay-off.
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In fact, Jota remains the club’s third top-scorer – behind only Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – with nine goals in his opening 17 Liverpool appearences.
The report adds that Jota has cleared all the necessary hurdles to be in contention to return to training on Wednesday. If he comes through a number of sessions without issue, Klopp, then, can look to reintegrate him into the squad.
Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United looks to be too early a return-date in terms of fixtures. However, the PL clash with Chelsea on March 4 represents an ideal encounter to pencil Jota’s return in.
What RTK has to say
This undoubtedly will come as good news to a number of Liverpool supporters, especially following the reported five-week lay-off for club-captain Jordan Henderson.
The club’s recent struggles, however, have run deeper than the personnel Jurgen Klopp is currently without – especially the concerning recent form of Roberto Firmino.
Against Everton in particular, Liverpool’s attacking trident looked horribly blunt, with Firmino at the fore-front of supporter’s frustration.
The Brazilian has never scored in a Merseyside derby and he didn’t look at ending that run on the weekend. In total, Firmino had four shots against Everton – just one of which was on target.
His goal return has become a major concern, too. Firmino has just six goals in 35 appearances in all competitions this season, after all, while he has netted just once in his last 14 matches.
The return of Jota, then, could provide some much-needed attacking innovation, with Liverpool still without a goal in open play at Anfield since December 26.
Jota was arguably one of Liverpool’s best players prior to his unfortunate injury setback. His timely return could go a long way in the Reds getting their season back on track.