At a time when Liverpool is preparing to lose the efforts of the Egyptian national team captain, Mohamed Salah, who will participate in the African Cup of Nations, the team’s coach, Jurgen Klopp, expressed his happiness with the return of Portuguese striker Diogo Jota from injury, describing him as a “pivotal player.”
Jota (27 years old) missed 8 matches, after suffering a muscle injury during a 1-1 draw against Manchester City last November.
He returned on Tuesday to score in the 90th minute, leading Liverpool to the top of the league with a 2-0 win over Burnley.
In the absence of the midfield trio of Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Paisetic and Alexis McAllister, winger Ben Doak, and defenders Andrew Robertson, Joel Matip and Kostas Tsimikas due to injury, Jota’s return was a major morale boost for Klopp.
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Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah scored the equalizer in a wonderful way in the 29th minute against Arsenal.
Liverpool will lose the efforts of Salah, the second-best scorer in the league this season behind City player Erling Haaland, when he leaves to participate in the African Cup of Nations, which will be held from January 13 to February 11 in Ivory Coast.
When asked what Jota adds to the team, Klopp told reporters: “I love Jota, but he also missed opportunities in the past. This is the type of player we always want. A player who does not participate, and when he returns, he makes a big difference.”
He added: “Diogo is a very important player for Liverpool. The goal he scored today reveals very high confidence, especially after he was undergoing a rehabilitation program a few weeks ago.”
Liverpool will then host Newcastle United at Anfield in the league on January 1, before a trip to Arsenal in the FA Cup third round on January 7.