Jota and the Lessons to be Learnt

Scott Groom
Read Time:4 Minute, 22 Second

Despite the arrival of Diogo Jota and Thiago, fingers are being pointed at a lack of fresh blood in adding to why Liverpool can’t get going.

Much has been said about Liverpool’s recent slump, which was compounded by a thrashing at the hands of Manchester City.

Injuries and fatigue have played a huge part in what has been a stop-start season for the Reds so far, with Klopp seeming to struggle to find answers.

But one topic that keeps coming up is the idea Liverpool failed to refresh the squad in the summer.

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The main point people keep referring back to is this: Fergie always used to do it when he was at United.

Lessons to be learned from Fergie?

This is true, you can’t deny that. Every year, Ferguson would a few astute, quality signings to keep his squad on their toes and keep levels high.

Players like Carlos Tevez, Dimitar Berbatov and Robin van Persie immediately spring to mind.

These same people are arguing that, despite bringing in Diogo Jota and Thiago, that Klopp hasn’t done the same. This isn’t true.

Thiago was widely regarded as a steal at £20m when he signed from Bayern Munich, while some scoffed at the fee paid for Jota.

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However, nobody could argue that they are both high calibre players who had been brought in for a reason – to refresh the squad in key areas.

Kostas Tsimikas was also brought in from Olympiakos to finally provide cover for the ever-reliable Andy Robertson, too.

So Klopp seems to have done exactly what everyone says he hasn’t, and the only thing that makes it look that way is Liverpool’s injury list.

Liverpool’s Incredibly Bad Injury Fortune

Nobody could have possibly predicted that Liverpool’s three centre backs would suffer season ending injuries during this campaign.

To not replace Dejan Lovren was potentially a risk for this reason, but having to rely on Fabinho for cover was rightly deemed a worst case scenario. A last resort, if you will.

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It just so happens that the worst of the worst case scenarios has actually come to be, and we are where we are.

So it’s hard to point the finger at Jurgen Klopp here, even when I’d say there’s the biggest case to.

But seemingly, despite reinforcing his squad with three new arrivals, Klopp has allegedly not done enough.

We’ve got word on social media and from broadcast pundits saying the squad is coming to the end of a magnificent, successful cycle, hence the drop in form.

Why hasn’t Klopp taken a leaf from Fergie’s book and kept things fresh?

Both of these statements are irksome and untrue.

Plans Already in Place for the Future

But what this current situation does highlight with our injuries, however, is the need for Klopp to keep doing this going forward.

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The options available to Klopp in an attacking sense, pending the return of Jota, are arguably his weakest point.

Outside the front three of Mane, Salah and Firmino, Liverpool currently have Origi and Shaqiri to call on.

You could argue Jones and Oxlade-Chamberlain can do a job up top, but it’s not where they’re best suited.

Minamino may return from Southampton as a man revitalised, and Jota’s return to fitness is certainly timely.

But the point remains, that the competition for those starting places needs to keep being refreshed.

Fresh Blood is Good for the Squad

When Jota was brought into the side and started so well, we suddenly saw Firmino’s performance levels shoot up.

Since Jota’s been injured, is it a coincidence that Firmino has looked off the pace again?

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It’s probably got something to do with it, but there are a lot of other variables at play here.

Once again though, the point remains – a better squad makes for better players.

Jota’s signing is one I keep going back to as it backs up my original point superbly.

A player of immense quality and potential, at only 24-years-old, Jota’s one for the future.

He’s a fix for the here and now, but he’s a signing that’s there to help Liverpool stay at the top for years to come.

I’ve no doubt we’ll see more signings like this in coming transfer windows, and it’s only right.

These players protect the Liverpool of tomorrow while helping the Liverpool of today.

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Of course there’ll be a time when Mane, Salah, Firmino et al move on for one reason or another, but that’s not yet.

They’re still here, still with plenty of football left in them so don’t need replacing right now.

But they will do eventually – but not yet. The cycle’s not quite over, but we need to be mindful of when it is.

Read more by Scott Groom.

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