Klopp secret conversation with Linjders reveal Diogo Jota could be long-term replacement for already-made Liverpool front trio


Jurgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders' touchline chat suggests why Diogo Jota is already everything Liverpool wanted him to be

Diogo Jota could emerge Liverpool's key forward.

Liverpool starting XI has been pretty consistent for the past few years now - particularly in the attack area.

The Reds going forward comprises notably three forwards: Roberto Firmino who plays in the middle and flanked by Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah on his left and right respectively.

The trio have forged a formidable partnership that has guided Liverpool to the Champions League and Premier League success over the past two seasons.

But in the end it could be one of them leaving the club, and while they aren't going anywhere just yet, Klopp is acutely aware that he has to prepare for the day it does.

In the summer transfer window Liverpool splashed the cash on Diogo Jota.

The 23-year-old Portuguese striker signed from Wolves for a fee of £45million knowing full well that he would be playing second fiddle to Mane.

He is doing exactly that, for the most part, but Klopp turned a few heads by starting him against Sheffield United on Saturday.

And, Jota repaid his manager's decision by scoring the all-important winner to complete Liverpool's second half comeback at Anfield.

According to The Independent, Klopp and his assistant Pep Lijnders had a brief chat on the touchline when Jota hit the back of the net.

The paper claims Lijnders announced: "Phwoar, what a player," with Klopp quickly replying: "And what a person!"

Klopp's praise continued after the match, although he wanted to make it clear he plans to allow Jota time to settle in at Anfield.

He said: "Yes, Diogo scored a super goal and was really involved in the game. He can be much better, 100 per cent, and that's good news.

"He is still adapting. In the moment, a lot of things we do are not natural to him but that's only because Wolves play different – but a lot of things he did for Wolves are exactly what we want him to do.

"Yes, that he is that close already is just a sign how good a player he is. As I said, if he stays fit, he’s 23 and the future is bright, let me say it like this.

"We will need his quality and I am really happy that he settled nicely so far."

On Jota's personality the German added: "It is not too much about what he’s brought in the team. He is a good player, that's why we signed him.

"I said it only a few minutes ago when I was speaking with my coaches that it is so easy – he is such a likeable person and so it is so easy to like him. That makes everything easier.

"Then the player he is: he is quick, he has the physicality, he is strong, he is good in the air, he is good on the ground…a lot of good things.

"He has exactly the quality we need, so that helps a lot."

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