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    Tuesday, 2 August 2022

    Jota saves colleagues with "everybody counts" comment

    Newly contracted Diogo Jota has opened up on what it would be like to have more players competing his position this season

    Diogo Jota extends his Liverpool contract to 2027.

    The Liverpool forward who has 34 goals in 85 appearances and netted 21 times last term, has embraced the strength in depth that will be available to Jurgen Klopp's attack.

    Jota will see competition for places increase this year with the arrival of left-winger Luis Diaz and central striker Darwin Nunez, along with teenage summer signing Fabio Carvalho and long-time squad regulars Roberto Firmino and top scorer Mohamed Salah.

    Asked about the situation after penning a new five-year contract, Jota said: "It makes everyone better each day when you go out on to the training pitch and you have quality all over the place.

    "It helps you to get better because that's the plan, if we all get better each day it'll be more difficult for the opponent to beat us. It's always useful when you have such quality because you also know the amount of games we play, we need everyone. And everybody counts.

    "I believe strongly in that the better you are, it's harder to improve. Only if you have the best by your side or the best competing against you, then that's possible. That's what I want to do."

    Jota will have to wait a little longer before resuming his quest for a regular starting role. He missed almost all of pre-season after aggravating a hamstring injury but could return before the end of the month.

    "Unfortunately for me I got upset in the pre-season," said the 25-year-old. "I got injured in the last game of the (last) season playing with Portugal so I came back in pre-season and felt it a little bit again. It will be a few more weeks, I would say."

    Jota played on both the right and left wings during his debut campaign but, with Firmino suffering intermittent injury concerns, became established as the centre forward for much of last season until been ousted by the now-departed Sadio Mane.

    And the Portuguese believes his game has changed since his £45million arrival from Wolverhampton Wanderers in September 2020.

    “Well, (I’m) quite different, I have to say," said Jota to liverpoolfc.com. "I obviously played kind of a different role as well most of the time. It helped me grow as a player, obviously more mature now, more knowledge of the game. Everything is better, I have to say. We need to obviously keep improving because I think I didn’t reach my prime yet. Hopefully during the duration of my stay here I’ll do that.

    "I said in my very first interview that I thought I suited the style of Jurgen and the team. I think I proved that instantly. Now it’s a question of developing our game, developing the intensity we play (with) because although we are doing brilliantly, there’s always one more step and that’s the step we are trying to make every time."

    On his new contract, he said: "It was a no-brainer, I have to say. it's obviously one of the best clubs in the world, if not the best. Last year was good for me and the team. It's proof we are doing things right and hopefully we can keep doing that.

    "I'm really proud since I arrived two years ago and established myself as an important player in this team, which is what I wanted from the beginning. And now signing a new long-term deal, it's obviously proof of belief in myself as a player and for me it's really good to establish I'll be here for a while."

    Liverpool were close to winning a quadruple last season but later came up short landing only the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.

    On expectations for the new season, Jota said: "It's important to win silverware as it shows you are doing things right. It's hard when you think you are doing it right but you're not quite winning, that doesn't feel nice.

    "Liverpool are working really well on and off the pitch. The squad is here for a while, you have those contracts going on and new signings and everything in place. The manager as well, obviously. Everything is in place, so it's up to us now on the pitch. This year we have everything to go again. Beginning of the new season, let's do it."

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