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What a Great Signing Diogo Jota Has Been, Says Dirk Kuyt

And a few anecdotes about football in ‘his day’.

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Friendly match”Willem II Tilburg - Feyenoord Rotterdam” Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

Former Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt believes that the Premier League title race is not over. In a column for liverpoolfc.com, he offered his insights.

“All Jürgen Klopp’s side can do is keep continuing to win – by whatever means necessary – and hope for further slip-ups. I’ve been in the position where Man City find themselves and I know pressure can force errors”, said Kuyt.

He believes that Liverpool showed important spirit in last weekend’s struggle against Crystal Palace.

“When you can handle difficult games or struggle in games and still manage to win them, that means a lot. It shows the fighting spirit of the team is there and extremely healthy”, he said.

Liverpool have been playing without Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, and Thiago Alcantara. And Kuyt believes that this signals that the squad is taking on responsibility.

“Normally when you have Mane and Salah, it’s easy to score goals because they’re natural goalscorers and have so much quality. But Liverpool have had to score goals through another way – and that only bodes well for the rest of the season.”

In particular he thinks Diogo Jota has added greatly to Liverpool’s firepower.

“His arrival in September 2020 just gave the feeling that even the top players – the brilliant front three – had to fight for their place in the team. Competition like that is so helpful”, he said.

“He’s incredibly important for Liverpool and scores important goals, too – a handy trait for sides going for trophies.”

When asked what’s changed most in the game from his early days, he pointed to the role that data plays.

“Back in my day, especially in the beginning of my career, you could cheat sometimes in training, sometimes in a game. But now when there’s something you don’t do what the coach has asked, you can see it everywhere. You’ll be shown by the people who analyse on TV – like Jamie Carragher! – and the data coach can show how you didn’t do too well in training. That changed a lot. There are more eyes on the players and there’s no way to hide anymore.”