Former Liverpool forward Stan Collymore believes that the ‘disappointed’ reaction from Diogo Jota as he was taken off against Norwich was a ‘very, very good sign’ in an exclusive chat with Empire of the Kop.
Jota opened the scoring for Jurgen Klopp’s side in the 26th minute of the tie, once again proving the spark that he offers the Liverpool attack, before he was replaced by Roberto Firmino in the 61st minute.
Collymore, being an ex-striker, stressed that Jota, Salah and Firmino in particular will have been itching to get off the mark to ease the pressure and also as they compete for starting spots.
Jota has shown himself to be a remarkable addition to the Reds’ attack since his arrival last summer, contributing 14 goals in 31 appearances as he’s battled Firmino for the centre-forward spot.
Collymore was especially impressed to see Jota ‘disappointed’ as he was replaced by his Brazilian teammate, adding that this is a ‘very, very good sign’ of the ‘competitive nature’ within the squad.
Collymore loves the competitive streak within Jota:
“From a striker’s perspective, all three of [Mo] Salah, Firmino and Jota will have gone to sleep the night before and said ‘let me get off the mark’ – the quicker the better,”
“Why? Because you’re basically testing yourself. You’re saying ‘right, if I get a goal today, that buys me the next match’ and then they can relax a little bit.”
“You saw the competitive nature of Liverpool’s squad with Jota when he went off, he looked really disappointed and that’s a very, very good sign.”
“He knows that Firmino is coming on and there are three positions for four players, and they’re all competing against each-other.”
Mohamed Salah is a nailed-on starter for the Anfield outfit, leaving Sadio Mane, Firmino and Jota to complete with each other for the other two spots.
Given Firmino’s lesser impact over the last year, as well as the clinical edge that Jota has shown down the middle (despite being solid out wide as well), Jota is really making his case to be a regular starter.