What Firmino brings on the field of play is outstanding no doubts, but what Diogo Jota has brought into this Liverpool team has left many dumbfounded.
The Portuguese is having such a remarkable start to life, at Liverpool, scoring an hat-trick in a UEFA Champions League Game, against a side that has been dubbed ‘ruthless’? Then he deserves every praise he is getting.
At first, when Liverpool signed him for £41m, many had opined that it looks to be a waste of money, reiterating the fact that he may not get playing time at Liverpool. Indeed, their perceptions were right, as he made more of a substitute appearance in his first couple of games, but he obviously isn’t a waste of money, firing from all cylinders.
Despite his limitations, Diogo Jota hit the ground running scoring goals off the bench, contributing exceptionally to the team, with terrifying races down the flanks.
With all of this happening at Liverpool, one of the reasons why Roberto Firmino should begin to worry is because Diogo Jota has similar attributes with the aforementioned Brazilian. Hold-up play, attacking alacrity, Jota is showcasing attributes of Jurgen Klopp type of player.
Despite scoring an three against Atalanta, Jurgen Klopp refused to accept claims that he will have selection head-aches ahead of every Matchday.
All good. Good performances never give me a headache. For tonight that was the decision, it was clear it makes sense for tonight, first of all to use the good shape Diogo is in. And because of the way Atalanta plays and defends, it made sense that the skillset of Diogo helps.“
Klopp lept to the defense of his star striker.
“The world is sometimes a really bad place that in the moment when somebody is shining, we speak immediately about another player who played for us, it feels like, 500 games in a row. We would not be in the Champions League even if Bobby Firmino would not be with us. And immediately I have to explain why he is not in the team. He will be in the team and for a lot of people in the world, if you would ask them: ‘What makes Liverpool some days special?’ I would say the way Bobby Firmino is playing because on a good day he is not to defend. For us, it’s important that we have more than 11 and tonight Diogo used his shape in an incredible way and played a super, super game. But that says nothing about Bobby and has nothing to do with me causing headaches. I’m more than happy that the boys played like they played tonight.”
Managers are known to be the most human, they stick to what they believe is working for them. With Jota’s form and Firmino’s loss of form, you’d say it’s time for the Brazilian to make way for the Portuguese but will Klopp go with that or stick with Firmino?
It is an headache for the German tactician even though he doesn’t want to admit it.