Former Liverpool defender Paul Konchesky has suggested Diogo Jota could replace Roberto Firmino in Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Despite Firmino being a big fan-favourite at Anfield for some time due to his skills and work rate on the pitch, he doesn’t have the best scoring record for someone who is essentially playing as the team’s main striker.
Some would argue that Firmino’s role is more of a false-nine, with the goals coming from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane from the wide forward positions.
That said, there’s surely no question the Brazilian could score more than he does, with just one goal so far this season and bizarrely just one at home in all of last season.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, Konchesky admits this is a big concern for Klopp, with new signing Diogo Jota already looking more of a goal threat after scoring twice in his last two games.
Konchesky feels Jota may be showing that he has it in him to replace Firmino in the Liverpool starting XI after a fine start since joining from Wolves this summer.
“He (Jota) has settled in really well since he’s been there,” Konchesky told CaughtOffside. “We know he has got the quality, as he showed it in a very good Wolves side. It’s a great option to have at a club like Liverpool.”
On Firmino, he added: “He brings more than just goals, but it is a massive worry that he’s not scoring many. It might be why Jota has come in and maybe he’ll play a bit more than Firmino now.”
Klopp made a number of changes to his team against Midtjylland, and Konchesky was also impressed with the performance of Xherdan Shaqiri, who made the most of a rare chance in the Reds’ starting XI.
“He was very impressive and think he always does well when he gets his chance,” Konchesky said. “The problem with him not getting as much game time is that the players ahead of him are very consistent, which is hard to change.”
Konchesky also spoke about Liverpool’s recent bad luck with injuries and what it might mean for their transfer plans, particularly in defence, as youngster Rhys Williams shone when he was brought on for Fabinho against Midtjylland.
“I think they were lucky enough not to pick up many injuries last year on their fantastic run, but seem to be getting them all now!” Konchesky said. “It could be the intense style they play at, or it might be the lack of rest that the club have had through these crazy times.
“I think for now Rhys Williams will be a option. Signing a player in January might depend on how well the young boy does between now and then.”