Liverpool have a big problem coming up with AFCON but they may already have the best possible answer in Diogo Jota.
Liverpool will lose both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane next month as they head off to play at the Africa Cup of Nations. That is a nightmare scenario if we’ve ever heard one.
Salah, of course, is Liverpool’s superstar in attack, leading the Premier League in both goals and assists. There’s a very good case that he’s the world’s best player right now – we’re not sure who rivals him right now. And Mane is a vital cog, too, even if the goals aren’t quite falling for him right now.
It’s not exactly a secret, though. The two of them boast some of the best raw numbers in the Premier League – two of the top three, in fact.
Few forwards on the planet can match what they bring but, as it happens, Liverpool have one of them. The third man in that top three might just be the answer to the AFCON problem.
Can Diogo Jota solve the Liverpool AFCON problem?
Liverpool won’t replace both Salah and Mane – that just isn’t possible. What they need to do, then, is find a way to win games without them.
It means building a new front-three for a few games. Roberto Firmino will join Jota in that but the latter may be the most vital player there. He’s the one who can deliver the Salah-like numbers to win Liverpool games. That’s what the team needs – someone who can do the damage at an elite rate.
Signing such a player is a nightmare. Liverpool won’t find teams willing to give up their stars in January but it just so happens that the only player in the Premier League who keeps up with Salah and Mane is already on their books. That’s a nice slice of luck.
And so no matter what happens – whether Liverpool sign anyone or not – Jota is the one they’ll turn to. He’d be the dream transfer if not already at the club and the team couldn’t be in a better place by already having him.
AFCON will be a problem but Jota can be the answer for Liverpool.