Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed why the Reds pushed hard to sign Diogo Jota from Wolve after completing a £45 million ($58m) deal on Saturday.
The Reds announced the signing of the Portuguese star on Saturday, making him the second signing in as many days alongside former Bayern Munich star Thiago.
Jota moves to Anfield after scoring 44 goals in 131 appearances for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, helping the club consolidate their place in the Premier League following promotion from the Championship in 2018 while paving the way for his own big-money move.
In need of an attacker that could fill in for Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane when the time comes, Liverpool landed on Jota, who Klopp says offers everything the club was looking for in an attacking signing.
“Oh my god, plenty of reasons! He’s a player who gives us so many options to use him,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“He’s 23 years old, still far away from being kind of a finished article, so much potential. He has the speed, he can combine, can defend, can press. It makes it just more unpredictable and gives us real options for different systems because he can play pretty much all three positions up front in a 4-3-3, if we play with four midfielders he can play both wings. So, these kinds of things.
“It’s just nice. And he has some natural things which we have in our game, like this desire and the greed and the direction. He is part of this unbelievable Portuguese generation in the moment, where they have really a lot of obviously quite skilled players. We saw the Portuguese team last time, it’s quite impressive.
“So, I’m really happy to have him here. And on top of that, a really good guy and really happy to be here.”
Jota will take the No. 20 shirt, formerly worn by Adam Lallana, who departed the Reds to join Brighton at the end of last season.
“It’s a nice number, No.20. Confident as well, did I mention that? All good. I’m pretty sure Adam is completely fine with that,” Klop said,
“Both obviously really good footballers – different players, but really good footballers. Both run a lot, so at least the shirt is used to that! There will be a lot of sweat after the game!”
While Klopp is thrilled to complete the deal, he also acknowledges that Jota will face plenty of challenges now that he is officially a Liverpool player.
With Salah, Mane, Firmino, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino all at his disposal, Klopp will have plenty of players to choose from.
And he acknowledged that it may be difficult for Jota at first, but he sees the Portuguese star as a player that can contribute now and in the future.
“He knows it’s a step for him, he knows that. Of course it is,” Klopp said.
“We always talk about these kinds of things; who can improve our team, the team who won pretty much everything last year? A lot of things can improve us, just if you want to come and play 500 games in a row then it could be slightly difficult. He knows it’s a step for him and he can give us things we don’t have – that’s why it’s cool. The space for improvement is not what I like most, but it’s there.
“He is now already ready to play for us but yes, I’m pretty sure there’s something to come. And the way we play, the way we train and the way we treat people, I think will help him as well.
“And, of course, being in a team like this is good because [there are] good players around you, make yourself better. That’s how it will be with him as well and what he will do with us.”
Having edged Leeds in their first Premier League game of the season, Liverpool are set to face Chelsea on Sunday in a battle of title hopefuls.