Liverpool assistant Pepijn Lijnders has suggested that Diogo Jota has an asset that is “so difficult to coach” as he continues to impress for his new club.
Jota enjoyed a superb three years with Wolves between 2017 and 2020. In that time, he got 44 goals and 19 assists from his 131 outings in all competitions.
This form tempted Liverpool to sign him last summer. He joined the Premier League champions for a fee believed to be around £41m.
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Despite missing over two months through injury, Jota has made a great start to life as a Liverpool player. He has 10 goals from 21 games for his new club. This includes a hat-trick against Atalanta in the Champions League group stages.
Jota has been one of Liverpool’s shining lights this term in what has otherwise been a wretched campaign. A poor run of results saw them fall away from Premier League title contention.
They have made a slight recovery of late, though. They beat RB Leipzig 4-0 on aggregate to book their place in the Champions League quarter-finals. Jota also scored the winner as the Reds beat Wolves 1-0 in the league last time out.
Liverpool’s assistant manager Lijnders told the club’s official website that Jota’s “intuition in the box” is hard to coach:
“Jota is on the same technical level as our front three – I said this before and the whole world can see it. Quick and being quick in mind is a lethal combination for a striker, he has ‘direction’ in his game.
“Diogo understands that it’s not about him, it’s about him, Sadio, Bobby, Mo, it’s about togetherness. Adapting to our pressing style isn’t easy but with him it goes very naturally.
“It says a lot how quick he adapted to the team and how quick the team adapted to him. It’s just pure quality as a team player and as a person.
“He has this positioning in the box where he is often on the right spot in the right time. This intuition in the box, this pure instinct, that is something that is so difficult to coach. I still find it really difficult to coach that attribute.”
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