Jurgen Klopp was delighted by confirmation of a new long-term contract for Diogo Jota at Liverpool, where the forward now plans to play his prime years.
Liverpool announced Jota’s extension on Tuesday, with his new deal reportedly set to expire in 2027.
After Mohamed Salah similarly agreed fresh terms and Darwin Nunez was bought from Benfica, Liverpool head into the new Premier League season with a strong attacking line-up despite the departure of Sadio Mane.
Only Salah (60) and Mane (39) have scored more goals for Liverpool than Jota (34) since he joined the club in 2020, with the same two players also leading the way in goal involvements (82 for Salah, 49 for Mane, 41 for Jota).
Averaging a goal every 157 minutes in all competitions, Jota outperformed Mane (192 mins) over this period, while his shot conversion rate of 17.7 per cent marginally betters Salah’s 17.5 per cent.
However, these are not the only qualities of value to Klopp, who told Liverpool’s official website:
“[It is] brilliant, brilliant news, I would say.
“His qualities are apparent. He scores goals – not a bad quality– he works unbelievably hard for the team, his pressing and counter-pressing are on an unbelievable level, he can play in all of our attacking roles, and he has an incredible attitude. Not a bad package, not bad at all.
“As a striker who can play on the wing, he gives us so many options, and since he came to Liverpool, he has improved so much.
“I have said before that Diogo is the player we hoped he would be but also a little bit better, so long may this continue.”
Jota, who signed from Wolves, also thought he would be a good fit for the high-energy team and has since averaged 3.9 recoveries per 90 – exactly in line with Roberto Firmino, the man he has largely replaced, over the same period.
But Jota believes he is still yet to peak, having netted 21 goals last season after 13 the year before.
“[I’m] quite different [now], I have to say,” he said. “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.”
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