Jurgen Klopp is unsurprised by Diogo Jota’s seemingly instant impact since joining Liverpool this summer, the Portuguese bagging a late winner against West Ham at the weekend.
Jota enjoyed two successful seasons in the Premier League with Wolves before completing a £40 million move to Anfield this summer, the Portuguese expected to be a backup to Liverpool’s feared front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
The 23-year-old has however made an instant impact for Liverpool, scoring four goals in just nine outings, including the winners in the 2-1 victories over West Ham and Sheffield United in the Reds’ last two league games.
Speaking ahead of his sides’ Champions League group game against Atalanta, Jurgen Klopp revealed he has been left unsurprised by the speed at which his summer signing has settled in his new surrounds.
“He is good, how players actually should be when they join us,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference. “He is in the best age, 23, already experienced, played a lot of Premier League football, made his way up in Portugal.
“He’s a really good boy and a really good signing. That’s the situation.
“We never hold players back in the beginning, it’s just that players usually need time to adapt. But I knew before it would not take too long for him because of the way Wolves are playing. Yes, they play a different system, but the intensity for Wolves is and was always incredibly high. There might be only one player who has to defend slightly less – not really a lot less, but slightly – is [Raul] Jimenez. But the boys on the wings, they had to run like crazy, so it was clear physically he will be fine. Technically, we saw he is good.
“All the rest is then about finding your feet, pretty much, in a new environment. The boys always make it easy for new players and Diogo is a very good guy; he is really open, his English is brilliant. It means it was easy for him to step into the team, in the squad, in the dressing room. Now he played.
“Of course he was involved in games, like they all will be involved in games. It’s special. How I said, Shaq played an incredibly important role as well, and had a difficult time. That’s the same, it has the same importance for us. That all the others stay fit is incredibly important. It’s good we have more than 11 who look like they have a good shape in the moment.”