Diogo Jota was able to sample football at its best at the Euros with the return of tens of thousands of fans, now he is eager to taste the same at Anfield for the first time.
Liverpool’s No. 20 has featured 30 times since his arrival last summer, notching 13 goals in his maiden campaign – all of which were scored in front of empty stadiums.
And of the six games that were played with a capacity of 10,000 or less for the Reds last season, Jota featured in just two for a total of 18 minutes.
It’s easy to see why he’d be desperate to see the new campaign get underway, with full stadiums to greet the new Premier League campaign after the UK’s restrictions lifted.
With Portugal in the Euros, the 24-year-old was reminded of the difference supporters can make and the boost they can provide, and so sampling a “full Anfield” is high on his wishlist.
“I’m still really looking forward to playing at a full Anfield!” Jota told the club’s official website.
“Hopefully that can happen this season. Of course, when you get good things with a crowd there, it’s always more positive.”
“I think it’s huge,” Jota said of the mental difference of having fans in stadiums throughout the Euros.
“I remember the first time I came into the tunnel and I don’t know how many, maybe 60,000 Hungary fans, and I was like, ‘Wow, this is it, this is happening.’
“I feel like we missed this in England and every part of the world, and we are getting that back slowly.
“We saw in the Hungary team the way they run, people backing them was very useful for them and playing away felt like football is coming back again.”
The position of having yet to have the full experience of an Anfield at its feral best is also shared by Thiago, Kostas Tsimikas and Ben Davies – all of whom signed last season.
It all makes for what will be a significant moment for the abovementioned players, the rest of the squad and the fans when the reunion arrives under the Anfield roof at the end of pre-season and throughout 2021/22.