Premier League • England

Klopp spots Liverpool star’s new ‘killer instinct’; hails colleague’s ‘completely new quality’

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp before the UEFA Champions League, Group B match at the San Siro, Milan

Jurgen Klopp has lauded Diogo Jota for developing a “proper killer instinct” up front for Liverpool in the past few months.

The Reds turned heads when bringing the forward in from Wolves for a flexible deal that will eventually reach £41million. Despite initial questions about how he would fare behind the club’s established front three, he has progressed impressively.

Nine goals in his first 17 games made him a firm contender to start alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Jota finished last season well too, after recovering from a nasty knee injury.

This season, though, he has continued in such form. Twenty goals in 10 games have seen him advance his claims to start, especially amid Roberto Firmino’s hamstring injury.

Speaking at a press conference, Reds boss Klopp lauded Jota for his further development.

“Diogo is an incredible player,” the manager said. “Players underrated or under the radar, I don’t know why you always ask me that because they are not under my radar,

“If people do that, how can I change that? Diogo is an exceptional player, Mo is an exceptional player, by the way Sadio Mane plays really good in the moment – he is just unlucky in the last moments.

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“All of these boys have incredible quality and that’s why they come into these positions and they come in these situations.

“Diogo has developed in the last few months a proper killer instinct, that’s true. He is there in the moments, he is in the right spaces, he brings himself into good positions.”

Klopp also spoke of the “exceptional” link-up Jota has with Mane that he “really likes watching”.

He added of the 25-year-old: “He is still young and there is still really a lot to come from him but it’s already good, so good for us.”

Klopp hails Oxlade-Chamberlain at Liverpool

Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battling with Aston Villa star Ashley Young 2021

Another player who has enjoyed strong form this season is midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The 28-year-old, who signed in 2017, enjoyed a fantastic debut season. However, after a knee injury curtailed most of his 2018/19 season, he has never really got back to his best form – until now.

Klopp said: “It’s pretty much the best Oxlade since I was here.

“I know he was more spectacular in moments, scoring against City and some really good goals, but it is a completely new quality.

“Calming the game down, knowing when to sprint with the ball, when to shoot.

“Being involved in all the different things on the pitch is a massive step and I’m really happy with Ox in the moment and hopefully it is like this.”

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