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On Diogo Jota, a Strong Footballer Dark Horse

Sep 2, 2022

Eight minutes into his Premier League debut against Arsenal for Liverpool, Jota scored, setting the tone. A week prior to his departure from Wolves, he scored his first goal for Portugal at an international level. His play seemed to pick up speed almost instantly

In addition to joining Liverpool, the Premier League and world champions, Diogo Jota also attempted to dismantle what is arguably the most illustrious forward line in sport. He can still clearly recall Jurgen Klopp’s words to him.

“I am always straightforward. That’s the game. The objective is to score a goal. I am there to score goals.” His straightforward demeanor stood out in a team full of well-liked players, and it helped him become an immediate hit with Liverpool fans.

Jota is in a laid-back mood as he speaks exclusively to Sky Sports in the adidas HQ just south of Manchester. He is eager to resume his playing career after his injury and has extended his contract with Liverpool until 2027. The chance to spend time with relatives over the summer has presented itself.

Even Jota would concede that things are a little different on the actual playing surface. Jota’s achievement of scoring on his club’s debut in the Premier League after coming off the bench has been duplicated by Darwin Nunez. Luis Diaz scored in just his second game, which was a relative snoozer. 

These quick impacts have come to represent Liverpool’s effective recruiting. The club can tell which characteristics in potential new additions make them good players overall, but more crucially, what makes them good players for Klopp’s Liverpool.

Part of Liverpool’s success can be attributed to finding the ideal tactical match, but it is noteworthy that they also prioritize character when hiring new players. Nunez and Diaz each had personal accounts of adversity and starvation in South America. Their ascent suggests that men are motivated by an intrinsic desire to become better people. 

Jota has a narrative. He wasn’t destined for fame as a child, but he hasn’t crossed the Atlantic to become a star either. He had to work hard to get this. Amazingly, even at the age of 16, he was still required to pay to play for the local team Gondomar.

Technically speaking, Jota’s ability to finish with both feet is the one aspect of his game that might help to explain his later success. Although that quality might not be special, Jota possesses a remarkable talent, according to Premier League history.

His left foot has been used in 15 of his Premier League goals, as opposed to his right foot in 18. With headers excluded, that means that 45% of his goals are scored with his supposedly “weaker” foot. At this time, no regular scorer in the competition can match that. 

Manchester United’s Christian Eriksen comes the closest at 44%. Heung-Min Son of Tottenham is not far behind with 43%. But Jota is the most ambipedal finisher among active Premier League players with 40 or more goals to their credit.

Jota has a lot more alternatives as a result than the typical Premier League forward. It might be a quick goal like his equalizer against Brighton in 2019 or Liverpool’s opening goal against Newcastle the previous year. He can hit the ball if it is there. There’s no need to move his body.

When he gets stuck in the left channel, it serves him just as well. Instead of letting the player enter on his stronger foot, the defender is tempted to show him wide. They have received training to perform that. That’s wrong to hold it against Jota. 

That was discovered by Everton and Leicester last year. The left channel was made available to Jota, who made use of it. Cutting inside wasn’t necessary. He scored on his shot.

The time has come for Jota. He is nearing full fitness and will soon play at Anfield against his old team, Wolves. Because of his aggressive attitude when questioned about his goals for the upcoming season, expect him to have an impact.

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