Diogo Jota looking to return as ‘big influence’ at Liverpool

Forward made an instant impact upon joining the Reds from Wolves last summer before getting injured

Alex Pattle
Monday 04 January 2021 13:14
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Diogo Jota's first Liverpool interview

Diogo Jota has said he intends to be a “big influence” on Liverpool once he returns from an injury-enforced absence.

The forward made an instant impact with the Premier League champions upon his arrival from Wolves last summer, putting pressure on Jurgen Klopp’s established attacking order of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

The Portugal international scored five top-flight goals in nine appearances and netted four times in six Champions League outings before a knee injury sustained in early December halted his momentum.

But Jota is nearing a return and hopes to pick up where he left off.

READ MORE: Saints keeper McCarthy tests positive for coronavirus ahead of Liverpool game

“Things are going well. Knee injuries are always complicated so we cannot rush things, but I am doing well and I will be back on the field as soon as possible,” he told Liverpool’s matchday programme ahead of the club’s Premier League trip to Southampton this evening.

“When I’m fit, I know that I’ll give my best in each training session and then each day to give myself a chance of playing.

“In Portugal, they used to say the hardest thing is not to arrive but to stay there. So that of course is my target. Now that I have achieved a move to Liverpool, I want to be a big influence in this club and that’s what I try to do every day.”

Jota became the first Reds player to net on his first four home appearances for the club, impressing both off the bench and when starting in Klopp’s team. When asked whether he hopes for a more regular spot in Liverpool’s front three, he said: “When I first came, my target was to get into the team and to know what we have to do on the field.

“After that, the aim is to give your best and take advantage of the opportunities you might have and that’s all I always try to do.

"Can we play as a [front] four more often in the future? You would need to ask the manager as he is the one that decides.”

Liverpool travel to Southampton in the Premier League this evening, aiming to pull clear at the top of the table.

The champions are level on points with second-placed rivals Manchester United, who have an inferior goal difference, with both clubs having played 16 games in the division so far this term.

Southampton, meanwhile, enter the fixture in ninth spot in the league and will be without first-choice goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who tested positive for coronavirus at the weekend.

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