Peter Crouch thinks Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could soon play Diogo Jota in a reshuffled front three without Roberto Firmino.
Jota has had a magnificent impact since his £41million move from Wolves earlier this year. Indeed, the Portuguese has scored three goals in eight games, all his strikes coming at Anfield.
The 23-year-old‘s instant impression means Liverpool’s talismanic front three of Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah now have solid back-up behind them.
What’s more, Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri are all also fighting for game time.
But while Jota has played in midfield as well as the front three, Crouch feels he could displace Firmino.
“I’ve heard from quite a few Liverpool fans that maybe Mane could go through the middle and perhaps have Jota on the left and Salah on the right, with Minamino pressuring Firmino for a place in the team,” the pundit told the Daily Mirror.
“That’s another option for them, and I think we’ll see something like that quite a bit this season.”
Jota’s latest goal put Liverpool 1-0 up against Midtjylland in Tuesday’s Champions League clash. Indeed, he played a crucial role from the start with Klopp’s big trio on the bench.
Crouch also said that Klopp will be happy he has the Portuguese to call on amid his team’s injury crisis.
“They’ve got so many games, and I think losing Virgil van Dijk is going to make the manager more nervous at the thought of losing a Mane or a Salah, the key, important players,” the pundit added.
“And Jota’s a class player. He’s so hard-working and he wants to press which they love doing from the front.
“Those front three have been so good in recent years, but there’s always a clamour for them to be better. I think Jota is a great adage to that, and he’s come in and put pressure on a few.”
Liverpool’s defensive concerns grow
While Liverpool have a plethora of attacking talent, they are alarmingly short at the back. Indeed, after losing Van Dijk – likely for the rest of the season – Fabinho had filled in to good effect.
However, the Brazilian added to Klopp’s injury list on Tuesday after suffering a hamstring problem.
What’s more, with concerns about Joel Matip’s fitness, Klopp warned of unchartered territory ahead of Saturday’s clash with West Ham.