Liverpool’s attack has undergone a bit of a transformation this summer. The departures of Sadio Mané, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino has been remedied with the capture of Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho.

The record breaking signing of the former has unsurprisingly ramped up excitement levels on Merseyside. As gut wrenching as Sadio’s exit was, you can’t help but feel the club have hit it out of the park with his replacement.

The Uruguayan possesses the pace and power Klopp requires of his forwards, but crucially, he is blessed with the predatory instincts of a natural born striker. We’ve already looked at what to expect from the former Benfica hitman here.

Couple the arrival of Darwin with Luis Diaz’s electric start to his Liverpool career since he joined in late January, and you can understand the sheer elation and expectation amongst the fanbase.

One man who has almost slipped under the radar as a result is Diogo Jota. The Portuguese international has almost become the forgotten man amidst all the excitement, with everyone assuming the de facto new front three will comprise of Diaz, Darwin and Mo.

To forget about Diogo would be folly however. This is a player that joined the club with the daunting task of breaking up the much vaunted front three of Mané, Firmino and Salah. He not only took the challenge on but succeeded in usurping everyone’s favourite Brazilian.

Diogo outstripped all expectations in his debut season as he brought his own characteristics to the false nine role, adding even more pace, versatility and a consistent goal threat. His progress was unfortunately halted by a knee injury that kept him out for months.

He still managed 13 goals in 30 appearances (19 starts) across all competitions. In 2021/22, he got even better. For the first half of the season, the go to front three was made up of Sadio on the left, Mo on the right and Diogo down the middle.

His performances at club level saw him take on even more of a crucial role in the Portuguese national side. He was pretty much a starter and played a key part in securing qualification for the 2022 World Cup.

The arrival of Diaz in January, and an untimely injury picked up at the San Siro, saw Jürgen Klopp rejig his attack. Diaz would take up the left wing role with Mané trying his luck down the middle. That experiment of necessity saw Sadio recapture his best form.

This saw Jota left out a lot more often. He was still a key member of the squad as they chased down an unprecedented quadruple but he endured a rough patch in the final stages of the season. He has always been very streaky (even dating back to his Wolves days).

He failed to find the net in any of his last 13 matches, 16 if you include post-season exertions with Portugal. That has probably contributed to many forgetting just how incredible he was for most of last season. There’s a reason the club is currently preparing to offer him a new contract.

It will be just reward for a player who still doesn’t turn 26 till December. At his best, Jota is a huge goal threat that can lead the line or line up on the left wing. He played off the right at times last season as well (even though he didn’t look completely comfortable).

He is a potent threat in the air despite his slight frame, and is not averse to grabbing a big goal. Last season alone, he scored against Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid in the league and European competition.

Who can forget that strike in the comeback against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup quarter final as well? Or his brace at the Emirates in the semis? His winner at Forest in the quarter final of the FA Cup was eqully memorable.

He also held his nerve to score a vital sudden-death penalty in a shootout on three different occasions, and on 14 occasions it was he who grabbed Liverpool’s first goal in a game. He’s become a real fans favourite, with the Kop regularly belting out his song.

He managed an impressive 21 goals and 6 assists in 55 appearances across all competitions. He made 64 appearances all told for club and country and no doubt that workload took its toll in the final weeks of the campaign.

He’s had a well earned break now and has joined up with the squad for the trip to Thailand. Diogo will relish this new challenge. Let’s not forget it is not set in stone that Darwin will hit the ground running.

The 23 year old took his time to sizzle when he switched from Almeria to Benfica for a club record fee. It is therefore not outlandish to think he could take a couple of months to truly get up to speed to the intensity of the Premier League.

Being available for pre-season will help in that regard but should Klopp deem it best to slowly ease him in (ala Robertson and Fabinho), he will possess a ready made option in Jota to deliver in the here and now.

This competition for places should get the best out of everyone. At the same time it allows the manager the freedom to rotate across games to keep everyone fresh as we set on another charge to win the lot.

For now, fansites can have their dream XIs and forget all about Diogo, but you can be sure he won’t be forgotten about when the real action starts. “Oh he wears the number twenty……”



  1. Facts only.
    I like how the media and pressure is off his shoulders at the moment, this would give him enough time to build momentum and remain consistent, once a finisher always a finisher

    Liked by 1 person

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