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Diogo Jota “looking sharp” as Liverpool hope he can “make up for lost time”

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Diogo Jota has returned to Liverpool training this week and could be involved on Sunday at Sheffield United, with Andy Robertson attesting to the boost it provides.

After scoring nine goals in his first 17 outings for the Reds – including in four consecutive home games in the Premier League and a hat-trick in the Champions League – Jota has been sidelined since December.

A knee injury suffered in the 1-1 draw with Midtjylland has kept the 24-year-old out for two-and-a-half months, but on Wednesday he made his return to full training at Kirkby.

Jurgen Klopp has expressed his delight at how positive Jota has looked in sessions since then, which suggests he could be considered for a likely role on the bench against Sheffield United this weekend.

Robertson, speaking to the club’s official website, has explained the morale boost that seeing the No. 20 back has had on the squad, particularly in a “really tough week” for players on and off the pitch.

“In a really tough week for a few reasons, of course, seeing Diogo back on the pitch brought a smile to everyone’s face,” said the Scot.

“He was flying up until his injury, he really made an impact coming into the team, a new signing hitting the ground running with goals, assists and the way he was going about his business.

“So, great to have him back.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, September 28, 2020: Liverpool’s substitute Diogo Jota during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

Given the extent of Jota’s injury, the manager is expected to take a cautious approach to his reintroduction to the side, but a struggle for form ensures his involvement is more necessary than earlier in the campaign.

Roberto Firmino in particular has endured a major slump of late, while Sadio Mane has scored just once in his last eight games in the league – fittingly, they start in the two positions Jota has thrived in since his switch from Wolves.

It could be that Jota comes off the bench at Bramall Lane with a view to, if all goes well, starting against Chelsea on Thursday night, with Robertson foreseeing him “making up for lost time.”

“He has obviously been out for a long period of time, he’s looking really good in training, looking sharp,” the left-back continued.

“So, I’m sure he’s looking to make up for lost time.

“It’s good to have that option, great to have him back and it’ll be good to have him back involved in the squad.

“He has certainly brought an extra quality to training, long may that continue and hopefully he can score some of the goals he scored at the start of the season.

“Because, like I said, he was making a huge impact on this club.”

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