Jurgen Klopp has hailed Diogo Jota as an “exceptional player” who he is “really happy that we signed,” with the Liverpool forward reflecting on a “special” year with the club.
Tuesday marks a year since Jota’s first goal for the Reds, coming in the 88th minute to seal a 3-1 victory over Arsenal in the Premier League.
The £45 million signing from Wolves has now struck 16 times in 37 games for Liverpool, including a hat-trick in the Champions League against Atalanta, challenging Roberto Firmino for a first-choice spot.
Jota could come up against a former club on Tuesday night, as the Reds visit Porto in the Champions League, with the striker joining Klopp for pre-match media duties.
“Exceptional player. Really, really happy that we signed him,” Klopp told reporters.
“Honestly, he’s a really strong personality, you cannot know about that before you meet the person. He’s really, even for his young age, a very mature man, so that makes it really enjoyable to work with him.
“We spoke about it from time to time, it’s not easy to improve us but Diogo did, definitely.
“He scored important goals, is actually a player made for our style: pretty intense, technically good, really fast, good in the air, both feet really good.
“Diogo is a very interesting package, and I’m really happy that we saw that and that we could realise the transfer. That helped us a lot.
“The first year was obviously not completely free of any struggles, because of the injury at Midtjylland, that was not perfect.
“But when he was available, when he was fit, he always helped us a lot.”
In his press conference, Jota spoke about his first 12 months with Liverpool, before vowing that they “will go for everything” in his second season.
“Twelve months is already a mark, playing for this amazing club with such surroundings as Anfield, so much support over the world,” the No. 20 said.
“It’s special, and in the end, all us players want to provide everyone is to win football matches and win competitions.
“We are starting off a new season and we will go for everything.”
Though as it stands, Jota seems to be ahead of Firmino in the pecking order up front, he insists he had no ambitions of “taking anyone’s place” when he joined.
“I knew they were one of the best attacking trios in the world, but I never thought about coming and taking anyone’s place,” he added.
“I thought about coming and giving my best in training and games, then it’s up to the manager to decide.
“I think it’s always useful when you have those kinds of players to help you, because in the end what we want is to win.
“You are only able to do that if you have good players.”