'No respect': TalkSPORT pundit says Liverpool player has done something he didn't expect at all
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'No respect': TalkSPORT pundit says Liverpool player has done something he didn't expect at all

Darren Bent says that he didn’t think that anyone could break up Liverpool’s famous front three until Diogo Jota arrived.

The pundit was ranking Liverpool’s current attacking options for TalkSPORT when he lavished praise on Jota (1min 49secs).

“Diogo Jota since he got there hit the ground running, scoring goals,” said Bent, ranking the Portuguese as Liverpool’s third best forward, behind Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

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“I never thought I’d see it, well not so soon, someone dislodging that front three of Firmino, Mane and Salah.”

It looked a tall order for Jota when he was brought in ahead of the 2020/21 season. Liverpool had just cantered to the Premier League title with their attacking trio at the forefront of the success.

Jota had decent pedigree in the Premier League having scored 16 goals over two seasons with Wolves. But it felt as if it was a signing with the next two or three years in mind, rather than an immediate one.

Instead, the 25-year-old announced himself almost immediately with a string of goalscoring performances. As a former striker himself, Bent was impressed, claiming Jota showed ‘no respect’ to the hierarchy of Jurgen Klopp’s front three.

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“He came in there, really showed it no respect and went “you know what, I’m good enough to be in this front three”, got his opportunity, kept scoring and scoring and scoring and arguably at the time was signing of the season until he got that injury that kept him out for a little while,” said the former England striker.

Learning a new role

It’s unquestionable that Jota has been an incredible signing for Liverpool. Bent isn’t the only one who has been surprised at his level of output since joining the club.

He initially looked as though he could be the long-term replacement for Mane on the left of Liverpool’s attack.

But as last season progressed, and certainly going into this season, Jota has been used more as the central figure.

This has owed largely to Roberto Firmino’s struggle to get himself consistently fit and available. Mane and Salah have both played through the middle at times previously, but coming from wide is where they are most dangerous.

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Jota has a very different skillset to Firmino. While the Brazilian is a master of dropping deep to link the play with clever passes, Jota prefers to carry the ball at pace.

This slight evolution has also had a happy knock-on effect of Jota finding himself in goalscoring positions in the box more often.

Jota is also obviously very comfortable using either foot. Of his 12 Premier League goals this season, only four have been with his ‘stronger’ right-foot. Five had been from his left boot and three with his head.

This versatility has been crucial in giving Klopp’s forward line an added dimension this year. He may be without a goal in seven games, but Jota has been a key part of Liverpool’s brilliant season so far.

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