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Klopp delighted with return of ‘super important’ Jota

Jurgen Klopp said he is delighted that Diogo Jota is back after the Liverpool forward made a goalscoring return to the side at Burnley.

Jota came off the bench to seal a 2-0 win at Burnley on Boxing Day, on his first Premier League appearance since November 25th.

 

The goal was also the Portuguese’s 50th in all competitions for the Reds, and Klopp is delighted to be able to call on the forward as Mohamed Salah prepares to depart for the Africa Cup of Nations.

“Super important [he’s back]. Everyone is positive about our 5 options [up front] but I don’t think we’ve had it often,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Newcastle on Monday evening.

“Now with Mo (Salah) leaving and (Wataru) Endo it’s difficult. Macca (Alexis Mac Allister) could be back, we just make sure we find a way to line the team up.”

On what Jota can bring to his side, Klopp added: “Diogo is a very smart footballer, he understands the game really well. He understands it on a different level, he sees situations slightly earlier to adapt quicker, he’s both footed and a great finisher.

“I love the Diogo story, I hope he is back now for the next 10 years. It’s not that he hasn’t missed chances though, I see talking about others not scoring, Darwin scored a super finish [v Burnley]. We need these boys and if you are a Liverpool player you must be a pretty special player or you would not be here.”

Klopp will see leading scorer Salah leave after Monday’s game with Newcastle, as the Egyptian departs to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations with the national team.

On Salah’s exit, which could see him miss up to four Premier League games, Klopp said: “The plan is whoever is available so can’t have a plan in October [for Jan]. Not the first time, it’s a really a very average situation when you lose him but we had it worse in the past with Sadio (Mane) too. So we have to get through this.”

Read – Eight talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

See more – A best XI of Premier League players heading to AFCON

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