The Liverpool boss took to his post-match interview to confirm that Diogo Jota will be ready to start if called upon against Newcastle United on New Year’s Day after making his comeback against Burnley on Boxing Day.
Liverpool secured the top spot in the Premier League after taking a 2-0 victory away from Turf Moor on Tuesday evening and it wasn’t just the result that will leave supporters buzzing.
The attacking threat has been weakened during the absence of Portuguese goal machine Diogo Jota, with Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez struggling to finish their chances over the last few weeks.
However, Jota returned to action in the second half to put on an incredible performance to prove the impact he can make in the team in front of goal when he slotted home the second and final goal of the game against James Trafford in the 90th minute.
Although named on the bench, Liverpool supporters were unprepared for the Portugal international to return on Boxing Day after the player failed to make any full first-team training sessions ahead of the clash.
Now Jurgen Klopp has spoke out in his post-match press conference to explain Jota’s comeback and reveal the player’s preparations ahead of the next fixture against Newcastle United:
“I really liked the game we played, but we should have scored more and that’s clear. Then the game stays open and Burnley have massive chances to score [at] the second post – maybe even the first they had, if I am right: the finish when he mishits the ball. I am pretty sure that was the first chance [for them], but in the end we deserved to win the game and it was two perfect goalscorers, I would say, with Darwin and then Diogo.”
“We sneaked him in somehow on the squad list because he trained only twice and the medical department wanted to give him extra training and I said he can have that in Burnley. He had that tonight and now he can train tomorrow properly and then he will be ready for Newcastle, which is really helpful. Two-nil, no injuries, all good.”
Will Diogo Jota start against Newcastle?
Although Klopp may be tempted to put Jota in the starting eleven next week when Newcastle visit Merseyside, the German coach will likely be cautious of putting too much pressure on the forward and instead opt for a front three of Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo.
Nunez finally broke his goal drought with a six-minute opener against Burnley after pairing up with Salah and Gakpo in the starting eleven, whilst Luis Diaz and Jota made their appearances from the bench.
With all of his forwards now fully fit, Klopp will have the luxury of rotating his attacking threat over the coming fixtures and no doubt, Jota will be utilised over the first three fixtures of 2024 with Arsenal and Fulham following Newcastle at Anfield.
With that being said, there is no doubt that Jota will be featured regularly following his goal against Burnley and Liverpool supporters should expect to see him competing for a spot in the club’s famous front three again over the coming games.