Over the past two seasons, Diogo Jota made 85 appearances for Wolverhampton Wanderers, scoring 26 goals and 13 assists.
The season before, the 23-year-old Portuguese attacker’s first in England with Wolves in the Championship, he made 46 appearances in all competitions while scoring 18 goals and adding six assists.
Now he’s Liverpool’s player, and in his first league appearance for the Reds he showed just why the club went out and signed him—not that manager Jürgen Klopp is surprised.
“I’m really pleased for him,” Klopp said following Monday’s victory over Arsenal. “It’s so difficult to improve a team like ours, to bring in players who fit in exactly, but I know for a while about Diogo Jota.
“He’s been on my list for two or three years already—but it needs to be the right moment. So I’m really happy that he’s here now and it’s been a great start.”
Liverpool have shown in recent seasons they don’t simply go out and buy any player, they track them. For a long, long time. Whether it’s the club’s first choice at the position or second or third, they will have been following any new signing for years.
It’s no surprise, then, that for Jota it’s no different—that they’ve been watching him since he arrived in England at 20 years of age and keeping a very close watch over the past two seasons in particular.
He’s been signed—and for a quite significant fee—because the club believe in his talent and fit. Based on their track record, the question was never if he’d make an impact, only when.