'Paid massive dividends': BBC pundit raves over Liverpool star's impact at Anfield

Brian Heffernan April 6, 2021
'Paid massive dividends': BBC pundit raves over Liverpool star's impact at Anfield
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Despite only entering the pitch in the 61st minute, Diogo Jota impressed Garth Crooks enough to include the Liverpool star in his team of the week when writing for BBC Sport.

Jota only had about 30 minutes to make an impact in Liverpool’s game at Arsenal on Saturday – but that wasn’t an issue for the 24-year-old.

The Portugal international still managed to score twice, getting his first just three minutes after entering the pitch.

And, with such little time, the impact Jota had on the match made a real statement.

WhoScored rated the 24-year-old’s performance as eight out of ten, which would probably have been even higher if Jota hadn’t picked up a yellow card.

Trent Alexander-Arnold walked away as man of the match with a rating of 8.3.

Crooks: ‘One hell of an impact’

When describing his team of the week, Crooks wrote: “(Jota) has made one hell of an impact for Liverpool since he arrived at Anfield from Molineux.

“Two goals against Arsenal, having come on for Andy Robertson in a tactical switch by Jurgen Klopp, paid massive dividends.”

There’s now serious pressure on Roberto Firmino, with Jota outstanding when stepping into his centre-forward role.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Jota vs Firmino

With Jota scoring more goals than he has starts in the Premier League this season, the 24-year-old has to be close to pushing someone out of the team.

Firmino seems the likely target. In 28 league outings this season, Firmino has only scored six goals.

However, the Brazil international does edge Jota when it comes to assists. Firmino has five to his name, compared with zero for the former Wolves star in the league.

What makes Jota’s case even more convincing, though, is his performance in the Champions League.

Jota has scored four goals and assisted once, whereas Firmino has zero in both columns to show for his efforts.

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Brian Heffernan is head of recruitment at Horsham FC. He has also scouted for League Two and Danish clubs and worked freelance in the Russian Premier League. Brian’s work includes trialling and signing players and creating detailed opposition dossiers for first-team managers. He’s also a sports journalist specialising in football.