Home News Jurgen Klopp details “crazy” reality with Diogo Jota – “If I go...

Jurgen Klopp details “crazy” reality with Diogo Jota – “If I go through the lists…”

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Jurgen Klopp has hailed Diogo Jota for the confidence and resilience that allows him to excel while playing through the pain of a “crazy” amount of knocks.

Jota has returned from a month out with a hamstring injury at the back end of last year in imperious form, with four goals and three assists in seven games in 2024.

That has come at a crucial time, with Mohamed Salah departing for the Africa Cup of Nations and then returning injured, giving Klopp an invaluable outlet in attack.

The 27-year-old opened the scoring with a brilliant solo goal in Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over Chelsea, in a move reminiscent of Luis Suarez.

And speaking in his pre-Arsenal press conference two days later, Klopp explained how, like Suarez, Jota has become accustomed to playing through the pain.

“He just has it. He’s a complete package,” the manager enthused.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 31, 2024: Liverpool's Diogo Jota lies injured during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“With, and he knows that, everyone’s that, with a few injuries at the wrong time – a few too many as well, like unlucky, wow.

“Diogo gets, in each game, knocks like crazy. If I go through the lists of medical reports I got over the years since Diogo is here, he’s in each and every one of them.

“And not as ‘injured’, just as ‘has a bruise’, ‘has a knock’, ‘has that’, ‘has that’. All after each game. So he really gets it.

“And on top of that, a couple of times he was out for absolutely too long, otherwise his numbers would look completely different.

“He was in a really good shape before he got injured, came back, was in a good shape.

“You can see he is literally flying in the moment, everything looks light, looks fresh, looks explosive, and on top of that, as he always was, an extremely smart footballer.”

Liverpool have looked to the Portuguese market in recent years with the signings of Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez, but Jota is the first player from the country to truly establish himself under Klopp.

With Tiago Ilori, Joao Carlos Teixeira and Rafa Camacho seeing their spark fade, and Fabio Carvalho yet to break through, it is perhaps a surprise given Klopp’s praise for the country’s conveyor belt of talent.

“I think if the world looks, at one point, to a country which is not big but has an incredible amount of good footballers, and really smart footballers, it should be Portugal,” he continued.

“The amount of players they deliver to the football world in comparison to the amount of people living [there] is crazy.

“And then the kind of players they are: really special, game understanding is different level.

“That makes him the player he is for us.

“I think from the first moment I saw him at Wolves, I was absolutely excited about his potential.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 31, 2024: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Salah not expected to return until the visit of Brentford on February 17 – and Nunez now a doubt with a foot injury – Jota’s availability is key.

“[He] can play all three positions for us up front, which is very special, especially in the moment when Mo is not here,” Klopp explained.

“Now that’s how it is with strikers. When you are in a good moment, you better use it.

“You surf on the wave if possible, and then you can add a few on, and that’s what he’s doing.

“The goal he scored now against Chelsea was not only the opener, it was an unbelievable goal.

“You can only do that and have that idea to get through these two guys when you are full of confidence. He did that and it was fantastic. It gave this game the right direction for us.”