John Barnes doubts that Diogo Jota or any other Liverpool player could replicate their Anfield success at Barcelona, Real Madrid or another club.
Much of the success Jurgen Klopp has had, winning the Champions League and the Premier League, has been down to the way Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have combined on the forward line.
However, Firmino was dropped for the 5-0 Champions League win against Atalanta in Bergamo to make way for the in-form Jota and the new signing seized his chance with a hat-trick.
BIG WEEKEND: Man City v Liverpool, Solskjaer, Adams, Leicester
The former Wolves player has scored six goals in the last 10 days and already has more goals for the club in 2020 (seven) than Firmino (five).
When asked if Jota’s start at Liverpool had surprised him, Barnes told BonusCodeBets: “I have been, I thought he was a good player for Wolves, I thought he would do well but I don’t think anyone would imagine he’d be doing this well.
“You need to give people time to fit into a new club with new surroundings and a new system. Every time Jota has come on as a sub or started he’s done really well and it shows from a recruitment point of view that Jurgen Klopp is still spot on with looking at players that he knows can fit into what he wants.
“Jota scored eight goals last season for Wolves and he’s already scored seven for Liverpool, he never necessarily came to the club as a goalscorer but the way Liverpool plays allows him to score more goals. The transfer has worked out better than anyone would have thought.”
And despite being impressed by Jota’s start, Barnes doesn’t think he or any other Liverpool player would be able to replicate their form for the Reds elsewhere.
Barnes added: “Klopp buys players that fits into his system. If Diogo Jota went to another club he won’t be able to do what he’s doing at Liverpool, neither would Sadio Mane, neither would Mohamed Salah. Klopp is not turning them into good players, they are good players, Liverpool’s system and style suits them.
“If Jota goes to Barcelona, for example, he won’t go there and score loads of goals or play as well. I don’t think any of the Liverpool players would and that’s what the club wants, to find players who can suit their system to be successful.
“It doesn’t matter whether they’re doing it at other clubs or not, look at Fabinho, he might have been wanted by Manchester City or Barcelona but he does well at Liverpool because Klopp knows how he wants his team to play.
“Jota is a fantastic player, but there’s no way that Jota would be able to go to Real Madrid and do the same thing, it’s all down to Jurgen Klopp and finding those players that suits his style.
“Mane, Salah and Fermino are still the front three, I don’t think Jota is all of a sudden going to 100% start all of the games, but of course, Liverpool now have competition for places but they know that whenever he is needed Jota can come into the team and play a part, the other players they have had, Shaqiri or Origi, would be able to come in and maintain the same quality over a long period of time, but with Jota you can.
“There’s Tiago in midfield too, so those two signings have helped Liverpool get strength in depth. They don’t have to play all the time, Klopp can maintain consistency.”
It might well be the biggest weekend of the season so far. The two biggest title contenders finally clash in a long-awaited meeting, but will Leicester or Wolves come out on top? Liverpool also play Manchester City or something apparently.
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