Jurgen Klopp says the injury Diogo Jota suffered against Manchester City is ‘not good’, with the Liverpool boss revealing when the star will be hoping to make his return.
Jota started on the left of a front three against City in the absence of Luis Diaz. He had two good headed chances in the clash but couldn’t score either of them.
The best of these opportunities came in the 56th minute. City failed to deal with a Liverpool attack and Mo Salah recycled the chance by picking out Jota at the back post. The Portuguese rose to meet it but could only send his header slightly wide.
Luckily for Jota, Salah stepped up 20 minutes later and scored a great counter-attacking goal which proved to be the winner.
Jota managed 99 minutes but had to be taken off deep into injury time following a challenge. He was replaced by left-back Kostas Tsimikas as Liverpool saw out the victory.
During a post-match interview with Sky Sports (via the Daily Mirror), Klopp was asked about the 25-year-old. While the manager is concerned by the injury, it actually seems to be good news regarding Jota. That’s because he might only miss the game against West Ham on Wednesday.
“We miss the next one with Diogo,” Klopp revealed. “He felt real pain in that moment but I have no idea how bad it is.
“If Diogo stays down it is not good. I saw it on the side on the screen, I am the first who saw it.
Diogo Jota injury ‘not good’, says Jurgen Klopp
“When I saw he goes down and there was not a lot of contact, you can see a little bit that somebody kicks his foot and maybe the muscle got overstretched, 96 minutes, that’s not good for the muscle.”
Jota will be incredibly frustrated by another injury setback. He has already had to overcome a hamstring problem which kept him out for the first five Premier League games of the season.
And he will have to once again watch from the sidelines when West Ham travel to Anfield later this week. Despite this, the injury blow is not as bad as first feared.
Klopp believes Jota will be back in time to face Nottingham Forest on Saturday at 12:30. His availability will be crucial for Klopp given Diaz is already out, while Darwin Nunez looks far from an £85million player.
Klopp needs Jota to return quickly
Nunez replaced Roberto Firmino in the 72nd minute and was hoping to make his mark on the game by netting a second Liverpool goal.
He caught City out on the counter twice but failed to play in his team-mates for simple finishes. The first time, he should have given the ball to Salah. Instead, he decided to have a shot from outside the box. It was blocked by the City defence.
Then in stoppage time Nunez raced towards goal but took too long with his pass. He completely ignored Fabio Carvalho. Nunez eventually picked out Trent Alexander-Arnold at the back post but had too much power on his pass, which meant the right-back couldn’t direct his effort on target.
Klopp might have to start Nunez if both Diaz and Jota are missing for the West Ham game. But against Forest, Jota is highly likely to start if he is near to full fitness.