Liverpool have made some stunning and transformative signings in the transfer market in recent seasons, from the arrivals of Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah in attack to Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker at the back.
It seems clear that in Diogo Jota they’ve made another, bringing in the Portuguese attacker and watching him take the next step. They will be counting on Jota—who now looks one of the games best scorers—against Real Madrid in the Champions League, and that’s just how the player wants it.
“It was a difficult season,” Jota acknowledged in a pre-match interview with BT Sport. “But now in the final third where the decisions are made, it’s an important part of the season and I want to play my role and help the team to reach their goals.
“Now is the decisive moment of the season. [Real Madrid] are the team with the most titles in this competition, so we need to be at our best to be able to get a result.”
It seems certain that Jota will have a role to play, and based on his track record since joining the Reds it would seem a safe bet that he will make a difference. The only real question is where, when, and how manager Jürgen Klopp fits Jota in against Los Blancos.
Just about anything seems possible, from a start in place of Sadio Mané or Roberto Firmino to replacing one of them or Mohamed Salah off the bench to all four starting if the Reds look to take the game to Madrid. But it’s certain he will have a role to play.
“Obviously the world was talking about [Salah, Mané, and Firmino] because of their achievements,” the Portuguese attacker added. “But it’s up to the manager to decide who will play, the system we will use.
“For example, the last game we changed the system, we played with four. So things can happen, we can play different systems. The manager decides what is best for the team and as individuals we need to do our best on the pitch.
“If the objective is to score goals in the football game, that’s what I want to do. In terms of me scoring or providing or dragging defenders, if that’s the target, that’s what I want to do.”