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‘Jota will spark all of Liverpool’s forwards into life’ – Aldridge says

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The former Reds striker acknowledges that more needs to be offered to the Anfield cause by a Brazilian, but expects competition to support the cause.

In Liverpool’s books, Diogo Jota is able to provide a spark that ignites all the forwards, not just Roberto Firmino, says John Aldridge.

The arrival at Anfield of the Portugal international was always meant to lift the game of those around him.

Jurgen Klopp was perceived to be in need of greater squad strength at the business end of the field, despite masterminding Champions League and Premier League title triumphs.

For the Reds, Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane became talismanic figures, but behind them there was little support.

With the 23-year-old having an instant mark on Merseyside, the presence of Jota has altered that.

With Klopp opting to field a front four against Manchester City, he has already secured himself a starting berth, and Aldridge claims collective expectations would be boosted in the midst of added competition for positions.

With Firmino under the greatest pressure to succeed after experiencing an uncharacteristic dip of late, the former Reds striker told the Liverpool Echo: “We performed so well against Atalanta that I expected the manager to say the same again with the line-up, so I was a little shocked to see the manager start all four ahead.”

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You don’t have to be an expert to see that Bobby Firmino is still struggling, I thought he looked a little better on Sunday [against City] and a little sharper, but for whatever cause, whether it’s trust or whatever, he’s been out of it for a long time now.

I believe the introduction of Diogo Jota would finally spark them all into life, we saw how it did at Atalanta, and ultimately it can only be healthy to fight for places.

There will be moments where the manager thinks it’s right to play all four, maybe more when we’re at home to sides that are going to sit in, and maybe the reason for doing it in City was more due to the injuries we have at the moment in other places.

Jota’s awesome because in all of the forward positions he can play and will keep everyone on their toes. When he played through the middle, he was brilliant against Atalanta and that’s where I’d like to see more of him, with both Mo and Sadio on either side.

“No doubt the four of them will play together and Bobby and the manager will know that because he’s a great player and we need him back to what he was doing a year or two ago, he must find a way to get back to his best again.”

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This season, Firmino has only one goal to his credit, while Jota is already up to seven, and each and every time he sends his Liverpool troops into combat, Klopp is set to face major selection calls.

About Kirigaya Kazuto

Kazuto Kirigaya, born as Kazuto Narusaka, is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Sword Art Online series of light novels written by Reki Kawahara.

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