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The Reds legend believes a Portuguese star added to the ranks at Anfield will be judged by Jurgen Klopp as much off the ball as he is on it

Diogo Jota is a “pressing monster” for Liverpool and has been signed as cover for Sadio Mane, says Jamie Carragher.

The Portuguese forward has been snapped up by the Reds in a £41 million ($53m) deal with Wolves.

His qualities were expected to slot seamlessly into the fold at Anfield, with the 23-year-old another hard-working option that blends graft and guile.

Jota has shown as much through his early appearances for the Premier League champions, with his goal account opened off the bench in a 3-1 victory over Arsenal.

Carragher believes the latest recruit on Merseyside will prove to be a shrewd addition for Jurgen Klopp, but says he will be judged as much off the ball as he is on it.

The Reds legend told Sky Sports of Jota: “He’s a pressing monster.

“When Liverpool are looking at stats on attacking players, most people probably look at goals and assists. The big thing for Liverpool is pressing from the front.

“Jota has got off to a great start with the goal, but a big part of it will be what he does off the ball and if you don’t do anything off the ball for Liverpool, and even if you’ve got a few goals, Klopp won’t accept it.”

Jota is going to find it difficult to land regular starts for Liverpool, given the quality that they already possess in the final third of the field.

He does, however, offer Klopp a useful alternative when the likes of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino need to be rotated or rested.

Carragher added: “Where they needed to strengthen was almost cover for Mane more than anywhere else.

“If Salah is out, you can put Mane on the right. Mane has played up front, Salah has played up front.

“It wasn’t necessarily a fixed position that they needed, it’s just the rest of them can now move about if Jota comes in on the left – I think that is definitely his strongest position.”

With Jota now up and running as a Liverpool player, it could be that he is included from the off when the Reds take in another meeting with Arsenal on Thursday, with a place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup up for grabs when the Gunners pay their next visit to Merseyside.

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September 29, 2020
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