Diogo Jota has a humongous task on his hands trying to break into the Liverpool XI, but he continues to chip away with some impressive performances from the bench and he’s surely sending out a message to manager Jurgen Klopp.
The 23-year-old attacker was introduced to the action on the hour mark during the 1-0 away victory against Ajax on Wednesday night, as the Reds kicked off their Champions League group stage with three points.
He entered the action alongside teammates Takumi Minamino and Xherdan Shaqiri to form a new-look front three, who are the current understudies to Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
Jota, who was signed by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the transfer window, was extremely positive with his cameo against Ajax and it was just his sixth appearances for the Merseyside giants.
The left-winger showed some tremendous pace on the counter attack to get in great goalscoring positions and he was extremely direct with his play.
Ex-Reds defender Stephen Warnock has suggested that it was the Portugal international’s best display in a Liverpool shirt so far and raved about his contribution.
“That’s the best I’ve seen him play in a Liverpool shirt. I thought he was excellent when he came onto the pitch,” Warnock told BBC Radio 5 Live Sport.
“The way he travels with the ball, he’s got power, he’s got pace, but then he sees things as well. He’s intricate on the ball, he’s inventive, I thought his introduction was brilliant.”
With Jota’s versatility to play anywhere across the frontline, it won’t be a surprise to see him get plenty more game-time moving forward and he looks a shrewd piece of summer business considering he suits the Liverpool system.
He’s got the energy and ability to press high on defenders, so perhaps he will be putting central forward Firmino under real threat for his starting position.
Klopp’s squad is currently being tested defensively due to the injury absences of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, but it’s important to know they’ve got attacking firepower in reserve too and Jota is someone who can step in effectively.