Jurgen Klopp revealed Diogo Jota was on his list for “two or three years” as the attacker marked his Premier League debut for Liverpool with a goal against Arsenal.
Jota, who joined the Premier League champions from Wolves for a reported £41million earlier this month, came off the bench to score the sealer in a 3-1 victory at Anfield on Monday.
Klopp was delighted for the Portugal international and said the attacker was a player he had wanted for several years.
“I’m really pleased for Diogo Jota. Top, top guy. It’s so difficult to improve a team like ours,” the Liverpool manager told BBC Sport.
“He’s been on my list for two or three years, he’s here now.”
Klopp added at a news conference: “Diogo came on, played naturally his football, tried to defend the way we defend. He is on 20 per cent of information on what we do exactly; we had meetings to talk about it and that will all take time.
“Today he had 60 or 70 minutes to watch how Sadio [Mane] is doing and then he came on the pitch and did incredibly well. He scored a super goal, a nice first game at Anfield. He will never forget it, I will never forget it. A cool start.”
EVERY. SINGLE. ANGLE.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 28, 2020
Despite a dominant start, Liverpool fell behind to Arsenal after Andy Robertson’s error gifted Alexandre Lacazette a 25th-minute opener.
But Mane and Robertson had the hosts ahead before half-time and Jota sealed the win in the 88th minute.
“It was good. It was a really good game, I loved pretty much each second. I didn’t like the goal we conceded but the reaction afterwards immediately, I liked a lot,” Klopp said.
“Against a top team in form playing like we did tonight is something, to be honest. It doesn’t help us for Thursday or help us for Sunday, but for tonight it was quite good, I have to say.
“I really liked it: we were dominant, we played football, we were difficult to defend, the counter-press was top, attitude was great and played some really good stuff.
“Arsenal had not too many, but some, chances because they have real quality. I think most of the moments they had were offside, so good defending, but Ali [Alisson] made a save anyway. It was all good, a really good performance.”
Liverpool and Arsenal meet again on Thursday, doing battle in the EFL Cup last 16.