New signing Diogo Jota has arrived at Liverpool hoping to complement their fearsome attacking forward line, not displace it.
After weeks of intimating there would be no major signings this summer in the space of 24 hours the Reds have brought in the 23-year-old from Wolves and Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara for a combined initial sum of £61million.
While Thiago brings a different dimension to Jurgen Klopp’s midfield Jota offers versatility in attacking areas which existing back-up Divock Origi does not.
However, Jota is hoping to make it a fantastic four up front rather than taking the place of either Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane.
“They are world-class players. Every match, they try to win. They score a lot of goals and they work together,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“I want to be one more piece to join that three. That’s what I will do.
“They are obviously more experienced than me, so the first stage is to connect with them, to learn with them.
“Hopefully I can be a good help for them and the club to win games.”
Jota, who is understood to have signed a five-year contract on a deal which could rise to £45m, arrived hours after young defender Ki-Jana Hoever made the move in the opposite direction for an initial £9m with £4.5m in add-ons.
Within the space of a day Klopp has strengthened his squad significantly in the final two-thirds of the pitch as he looks to give the club every chance of retaining their Premier League title.
He spoke about the need for greater competition in what is expected to be an unusually congested season, saying: “I cannot prepare for a normal season when a season is not normal. Rotation is absolutely necessary because it just doesn’t work otherwise.”
But he also has an eye on the future and believes Jota, who has scored just 16 goals across his last 67 Premier League appearances, has plenty of room for improvement.
“He’s a player who gives us so many options to use him,” said the Reds boss, whose side face an early test of their champion credentials with a trip to Chelsea on Sunday.
“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.
“He has some natural things which we have in our game, like this desire and the greed and the direction, (and) he is part of this unbelievable Portuguese generation in the moment, where they have really a lot of obviously quite skilled players.
“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.”
Jota is well aware of what is expected of him but feels ready for the challenge of joining a side who have won the Champions League and Premier League in the last two seasons.
“They are a special team; the way they press, the intensity that they put into the game is just another level and that’s what I want to be part of – that anger to play the game and to score goals,” he added.
“I think that’s a great way to play the game and that’s the way I want to play as well.
“I think there was no doubt about Liverpool being the best team in the league last season by some distance.
“The intensity they put into the game… they were just unbelievable. They were all over the place.
“It felt like they were playing with more players than the other teams. Hopefully we can do the same again this year with me being a part of it.”
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