Jurgen Klopp says that he has been surprised at just how good Diogo Jota has been for Liverpool.
Speaking to the press after Liverpool beat Watford 2-0 on Saturday, Klopp said that the 25-year-old is now ‘world class.’
“I’ve said now a couple of times, at Wolves he (Jota) had a different job and he did that job that good that we thought, ‘We want him,’” said the manager via liverpoolfc.com.
“Since he has come in, he has improved a lot. That is a little bit up to his age, he is growing into the top, world-class striker role step by step.”
Klopp said that although he saw the signs while Jota was at Wolves, the Portuguese forward has been even better than he hoped since joining Liverpool
“So, actually, he is the player we thought he will be – and even a little bit better,” said the 54-year-old.
Jota the slotter
Jota’s glancing header to open the scoring against Watford was his 20th goal of a brilliant season for The Reds.
We shouldn’t be surprised. The number 20 scored 13 times last season despite missing most of the second half of the campaign through injury.
Time after time, he has proven himself to be the difference maker for Liverpool. Despite often drifting in and out of games, he shows up when it matters most – between the goalposts. That’s a invaluable quality to have.
Jota’s goal on Saturday owed much to the excellent ball in from Joe Gomez. But without his movement in the penalty area bamboozling the Watford defenders, it couldn’t have happened.
Heading for the top
Of Jota’s 20 goals this season, six have been headers. All of his five goals during Portugal’s World Cup qualifying campaign were also headers.
For a player who stands around 5ft 10in, that isn’t a coincidence. That’s the sign of a player who has mastered how to find pockets of space to give himself the chance to score.
Liverpool have two of the best crossers in world football in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.
When you match the full-back’s ability to swing a ball in with Jota’s unbelievable aerial prowess, you’ve got a virtual guarantee of goals.