Former Liverpool player and pundit Stephen Warnock has called upon head coach Jurgen Klopp to consider dropping Diogo Jota, according to an interview he conducted on Sky Sports News [via the Daily Express].
He has claimed that the Portuguese star can be ‘sloppy’ and often slows down their attacking play when working the ball into the opposition’s box. He did, however, concede that Jota is excellent when capping off moves.
Nevertheless, he said that he feels Jota should be replaced in the starting lineup with Cody Gakpo, on account of the Dutchman’s superior link-up play.
What did Stephen Warnock say regarding Diogo Jota?
Speaking on Sky Sports News, Warnock said: “I think there’s a real mixture between the three [forward players]. Individually I think [Luis] Diaz is the player who will try and get people off their seats and get them on their feet. He’s that player who can take people on individually.
“Salah will do it to a certain degree but Salah has moments in a game where he’s very quiet, but you’ve just got that feeling whenever he gets on the ball that something special could happen, or he could change it in an instant.
“Jota’s arguably the weak link in the three because of his link-up play, he’s quite sloppy at times with the ball and it breaks down a little bit. However, when it comes into the penalty box he’s a different animal, he comes to life, he’s on it like a flash, we saw with the goal [on Saturday].
“I think if Endo is to start and [Alexis] Mac Allister and [Dominik] Szoboszlai were to play higher up the pitch, I think that then moves Gakpo into that central striker position, Jota then drops to the bench.”
Should Liverpool drop Diogo Jota?
Liverpool’s primary front three this season has generally consisted of Luis Diaz on the right wing, Mohamed Salah on the right wing and Diogo Jota in the striker/false nine role.
While Jota has displayed his talents on several occasions, it is difficult to claim that he should be starting every week – especially with Darwin Nunez and Gakpo waiting in the wings.
As such, Klopp would be wise to play all of them on a rotational basis. This way, Liverpool can remain unpredictable and difficult to prepare for – moreover, it will keep his squad happy.