HomeKlopp praises Jota ahead of Salah absence

Klopp praises Jota ahead of Salah absence

-

Jurgen Klopp has hailed “smart footballer” Diego Jota with the Portugal forward set to be a key player for Liverpool in January.

Jota came off the bench to grab a late goal in the 2-0 win at Burnley on Boxing Day having not played since injuring a hamstring at Manchester City on November 25.

Check out our other stories here
Romero blow for Tottenham with defender set for spell on sidelines
Sane hoping Germany can replicate 2006 achievements at Euro 2024
Howe demands Newcastle “fight back”

He will again be in the squad for Monday’s home game with Newcastle and will assume greater importance when Mohamed Salah leaves to join up with the Egypt squad ahead of the African Cup of Nations next week.

Klopp said: “His football brain, he is a very smart footballer, that’s how it is. He understands the game particularly well.

“I really think Portugal is blessed with some of these kind of players who really understand the game on a different level – and he is one of them, definitely.

“It gives him a chance to see to see situations slightly earlier, to adapt to different things the opponent is doing a little bit quicker. That’s it, on top of that he is both-footed and a great finisher.”

Jota’s return to fitness means Liverpool will have their full arsenal of attacking options against Newcastle with Salah, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo also vying for a place in the side.

Klopp added: “Everybody was quite positive about our five options, I don’t think we had it that often, to be honest. It’s so important these boys can rotate between them.”

Liverpool will take on a Newcastle side that have lost four of their last five Premier League games, as well as crashing out of European football and the EFL Cup.

Klopp has some sympathy for Eddie Howe and his players, however.

“Newcastle have had a lot of injuries but they played European football now which they haven’t done 50 times in a row,” he said.

“So it’s just recovery and then go again, so it’s an adjustment and it’s been a bit of a problem. They have still done well in the games I saw, but Eddie has had to use the same line-up too often, that’s clear.

“Credit to the players and their efforts but it was the same line-up so the players who play all the time are tired and the ones coming back have no rhythm.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

LATEST POSTS

Chelsea v Everton: Result is biggest embarrassment of career, says Tarkowski after Premier League defeat

Everton defender James Tarkowski has apologised to Toffees fans and said their 6-0 hammering at Chelsea in the Premier League is the greatest embarrassment of...

Chelsea v Everton: Pochettino gives players final warning over ‘really sad’ Palmer penalty row

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino says he has told his squad that he is "not going to accept" any more arguments about which players take penalties,...

Chelsea v Everton: Palmer pushes Jackson as Madueke rows over penalty in Premier League spat

Chelsea players Cole Palmer, Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke were involved in an extraordinary confrontation after the hosts were awarded a penalty during the second...

Barcelona vs PSG: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

The State of Play In January, Barcelona were enduring a really difficult run of form and in the aftermath of losing 5-3 at home to a...

Most Popular