LONDON • Diogo Jota has admitted that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s advice was vital in helping him find a way into the Reds’ star-studded attack.
The Portuguese forward, who has scored nine goals in 15 games in all competitions since joining Liverpool from Wolverhampton Wanderers in the close season, is set to face his former team for the first time when they visit Anfield today.
“When you reach a new club, having an open mind is key to be able to adapt as quickly as possible,” Jota said ahead of the Premier League clash.
“I did that with the help of Jurgen. He’s a fantastic manager who took care of me. When I first arrived, he had a meeting with me and he explained how the team works.
“Then it’s down to the player to try to learn as fast as you can and to prove to the manager that you can be an important player for him.”
The 24-year-old has had an impressive start, overshadowing Liverpool’s famed attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Salah has scored 10 goals in 16 games, while Firmino has two in 16, and Mane five in 15.
Jota is also the only forward who has scored in four of Liverpool’s last five league games.
Pundit Owen Hargreaves suggested competition could be brewing between Jota, Salah and Mane.
“If everybody is trying to have a shot when they get the ball – Salah, Jota and Mane – I think you’re going to start seeing a slight bit of tension,” he said.
The Reds, who already have a lengthy injury list, beat Ajax 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday with Andrew Robertson and Jordan Henderson both picking up knocks. But Klopp confirmed that the injuries are not serious and they are in contention to face Wolves.
Meanwhile, Wolverhampton boss Nuno Espirito Santo has lauded Jota for hitting the ground running at Liverpool.
“We are proud and happy Diogo is doing well. He is a fantastic player and a fantastic boy,” he said.
“We know his characteristics but we are going to face Liverpool so we have to be aware of their qualities, Diogo plus all the other talented players Liverpool have.”
Nuno added that Raul Jimenez is making excellent progress following surgery on a fractured skull but it was too early to set a timeframe for the Mexican striker’s return.
Jimenez, 29, was injured after a clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz at the Emirates Stadium last Sunday. He received lengthy treatment on the pitch before being taken off and rushed to hospital and could be discharged as early as this week.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS
LIVERPOOL V WOLVES
Singtel TV Ch102 & StarHub Ch227, tomorrow, 3.15am