Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign 23-year-old forward Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £41M plus £4M in add-ons, with young defender Ki-Jana Hoever heading in the other direction for £9M plus £4.5M.
It may not be quite official yet, but everything has been agreed and so Wolves boss Nuno Espírito Santo wasn’t interested in playing coy when asked about the departure of Jota at his pre-match press conference today.
“Diogo is amazing,” Nuno told reporters. “What he did for us for three years was absolutely fantastic, but things happen when things should naturally happen and he is going to the right place so we wish him all the best.”
Based on the underlying numbers and his style of play, Jota appears to be the perfect understudy for Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah on the wings—something that Liverpool desperately needed ahead of a busy season.
Meanwhile, for Hoever, despite his clear talent he always felt a little between positions—too small for centre half in a two-man backline and not quite fast enough to effectively fill in for Trent Alexander-Arnold at right back.
For Wolves, who play with three centre halves, there is a more obvious place for him, and while for some Liverpool fans Jota’s £41M plus £4M fee might seem a bit inflated, framing it as £32M plus Hoever feels far less so.
“Liverpool are going to have a great player, and Ki has a bright future ahead of him,” Nuno added. “We think this deal is good for everybody. Diogo was really happy here, but it’s normal that players want new challenges.”