Some eyebrows were raised during the summer of 2020 when Jota was signed by Liverpool from Wolves for a fee reported to be in excess of £40 million. Many fans were disappointed Werner wasn’t acquired instead.
Not only did the striker prove himself worthy backup for Liverpool’s famous front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, he forced his way into consideration as first choice starter.
Despite a knee injury that took Jota out of action for the best part of three months, he still managed to finish the season with 13 goals in all competitions.
Diogo Jota dragged Liverpool through against Leicester in dramatic fashion. Diogo Jota writing the headlines was not the only familiar sight at Anfield against Leicester City.
The attack that started the game is not a million miles away from the reality that awaits Liverpool in January. Roberto Firmino is a nailed-on starter, while Takumi Minamino is in a straight battle with Divock Origi. His late heroics will have done him no harm.
Thankfully, second-half substitute Jota will be on hand to help handle the AFCON absences too, but beyond that there is precious little depth.
Klopp and his team are through to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2017 thanks mostly to the second-half performance, where Williams was restored to the back line and Jota was thrown on in the front three. It took this injection of a more orthodox attacker to turn the tide.
The 25-year-old has already proved himself at Liverpool with a string of important goals, but the way in which he single-handedly made the difference felt like a significant moment. In a game where Salah and Mané were absent, he was the inspirational figure: this bodes well for January, but also for the long-term future of the club.
Jota, is a goal machine. It’s what he does. His output for Liverpool is nothing short of astonishing, and he proved in the penalty shootout that he has the mentality to go with it. After Minamino jeopardised his hero status by squandering the chance to win it from the spot, Caoimhín Kelleher made it advantage Liverpool again, and the former Wolves man made no mistake in securing a progression that looked highly unlikely.
If there were any doubts about whether Jota can carry Liverpool on his shoulders through a testing January period, those have now been alleviated somewhat.
His goal in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Spurs on Sunday was the Portugal international’s tenth league goal of the season and you can watch them all here. The goal from Jota was also further proof of his ability in the air as he added another classic header to his collection.
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