BT Sport pundit Glenn Hoddle called Diogo Jota Jürgen Klopp’s best ever signing after the diminutive Portuguese scored a brace against Leicester City on Thursday.
Both goals from Jota saw the 2019/20 Premier League champions keep the pace with current defending champions and league leaders Manchester City, who are now nine points ahead of Liverpool having played a game more.
The Reds were given a scare by Leicester who held them until the 34th minute when Jota pounced on a free ball to fire home from close range.
The Foxes also made life difficult for the Reds in the second half until Jota again displayed his keen goal poaching senses to run in behind the Foxes defence and finish off a Fabinho assist.
It was very much business as usual for Liverpool who did not miss their two star men in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who were away at the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon for the whole of January, thanks to Jota stepping up to the plate.
His two goals against Leicester took his tally in the Premier League to 12, four goals behind leading goalscorer Salah and his tally in all competitions to 17, one behind Salah with 18.
His signing from Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2020 for £41 million was not met with the pomp and pageantry of many other Premier League transfers but the 25-year-old has more than delivered on his price tag.
His performances led to BT Sport pundit Hoddle declaring him as Klopp’s best ever signing ahead of Salah, Virgil Van Dijk, Mane, Allison Becker among others.
Jota has sharp instincts, Hoddle says
The ex-Tottenham Hotspur man reserved high praise for the Portuguese after the match. Commenting on the second goal on BT Sport, Hoddle said:
“Again, it’s that predatory Jota. He’s got his back to goal when he receives the ball and just swivels on it. It’s too firm for Schmeichel, it’s really great instinctive finishing.
“His instincts tell him where the posts are, where the goal is, doesn’t even look, he knows where he wants to put it.
“That is why he’s a starter for me. Probably [Klopp’s] best buy I would say. He surprised everyone when he first came and how good he’s been. He’s come up trumps yet again.”
While Jota has impressed since showing up at Anfield from a very unlikely move from Wolves, Hoddle declaring that he is Klopp’s best every signing has sparked some debate.
However, fans cannot deny how important Jota has become and how important he can become especially with the new era coming soon at Liverpool.
Jota joins top-tier list at Liverpool
With his 16th and 17th goals in the current season, Jota joined a top-tier list of players who have played for the Merseyside club.
He became the ninth player to score 30 goals in his first 60 games at the club behind Salah, Daniel Sturridge, Fernando Torres, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, John Aldridge, Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish.
With Mane and Firmino looking likely to exit Anfield soon, Jota is set to lead Liverpool into the new era alongside new signing Luis Diaz, with manager Jürgen Klopp also believing in Japanese winger Takumi Minamino to be a key part of the new attacking triumvirate.
Jota remains in contention to start as Liverpool travel to struggling Burnley on Sunday despite the return of Salah and Mane from AfCON and could extend his goal record this season.