Premier League • England

Carragher declares Liverpool forward better than five Reds legends including Salah, and the stats prove he’s right

Liverpool forwards Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota

Jamie Carragher has made an astonishing claim about Liverpool frontman Diogo Jota, and the statistics prove he's correct

Jamie Carragher believes Diogo Jota is superior to Mohamed Salah and four more Liverpool legends at one aspect of attacking play, and the statistics back up the pundit’s claim.

Jota, 27, turned heads when joining Liverpool from Wolves in a £41m (rising to £45m) deal back in the summer of 2020. The Reds were heavily linked with signing Timo Werner at the time, though turned to Jota in a move that has since proven extremely wise.

Indeed, the Portuguese brought his goalscoring tally to 11 in 22 appearances in all competitions this season when notching a brace in the 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday. Making those figures all the more impressive is the fact Jota has not been a regular starter.

Both of Jota’s finishes against the Cherries were clinical, with the frontman rifling the ball hard and low into the corners of the goal.

Speaking after the match, Sky Sports pundit and Reds legend, Jamie Carragher, made a giant claim about the Liverpool striker.

Carragher declared Jota to be Liverpool’s greatest ever finisher in the Premier League era. That would place Jota above the likes of Robbie Fowler and Luis Suarez, though Carragher stuck to his guns.

Only Fowler can compete with Jota’s finishing – Carragher

“I think of some of the strikers I’ve played alongside: Michael Owen, Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres, Robbie Fowler. I think he [Jota] is the best finisher,” Carragher said.

“Robbie [Fowler] maybe [could be ahead of him] in terms of pure finishing, hard and low, into the corner. But [his two goals against Bournemouth are] typical Jota. When he gets the chance he is so clinical.

“This season, he’s got a goal or an assist every 84 minutes. There’s only two or three players in the Premier League who are higher than that.

“He sums up Liverpool’s recruitment over the last five or six years. He’s a player who was in and out of the Wolves team, and when he was bought a lot of people were scratching their head.

“When everyone’s fit, he’s probably not even playing. But I still think he’s a better finisher than the likes of Suarez, Torres, even [Mohamed] Salah.

“The only one who can compete with him is Robbie Fowler at the start of the Premier League years.”

What do the statistics say?

Data analysts Opta only began recording the numbers in the 2003/04 season. As such, Fowler’s potent first spell at Liverpool as well as the bulk of Owen’s tenure at Anfield are not included in their analysis.

However, the last 20 years of data has been compiled and Jota does rank highest of all Liverpool forwards who’ve scored at least 25 goals in the Premier League in terms of shot conversion rate.

Jota tops the chart with a mark of 19.3 percent. Second is Sadio Mane (18.6 percent), followed by Fernando Torres (17.9 percent), Mohamed Salah (17.4 percent) and Daniel Sturridge (15.3 percent).

Elsewhere, Jota’s goals-per-minute ratio for Liverpool in the Premier League (141 minutes) is superior to both Owen (143 minutes) and Fowler (159 minutes).

However, he is behind Torres (121), Salah (132) and Suarez (139) in that metric.

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