Liverpool have struggled to start the 2022-23 season, with injuries and poor finishing resulting in two draws and a loss to show for their first three Premier League games. It’s far less than hoped for and expected from the presumed title challengers.
Expectations remain high, though, and the return of a number of injured players in the coming weeks should help to boost the Reds. Key amongst those returnees will be Diogo Jota, who arrived at the club in 2020 knowing he would have to fight for minutes and quickly established himself as a top scorer.
“I was there to challenge the front three not to be happy with being a substitute player who comes on,” Jota told Sky of his decision to join the Reds two summers ago and what manager Jürgen Klopp told him he expected his role to be.
“Playing with the best makes you better so I knew that I would increase my level as well and that would help me get into the team. I think that is what I did pretty much from the beginning.”
Liverpool’s finishing has run cool so far this season, with the Reds creating more than six expected goals worth of chances but scoring only four. After their two opening draws, nobody had created more in attack than them. After their third game, a loss to Manchester United, they sit third by that metric.
While Jota won’t be available to return immediately to help them on that front and is expected to miss at least the next two games, he is edging closer and Everton on September third remains a possibility for the Portuguese forward.
“For me personally it is to try to score more goals than last year,” he added of his own goals for the season. “To be better. To conquer things that I have not conquered before. To reach my prime. I know that I can still be a lot better. That is what makes me willing to give more every day.
“The hard thing is not to reach the top of the mountain but to stay there. It is the hardest bit because you always have people who want to reach there for the first time. You can never let them have more will than you.”