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LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 13, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Hopefully!” – Jurgen Klopp explains Diogo Jota plan after injury return

Diogo Jota‘s return to the matchday squad at Burnley gives Jurgen Klopp plenty of optimism for what his role could entail against Newcastle on New Year’s Day.

Jota has been on the sidelines with a hamstring injury since the trip to Man City over a month ago, but he was a surprise inclusion on the bench for the Reds’ Boxing Day clash.

His return was nearing, but the expectation was Klopp would have to wait until 2024 to call on Liverpool’s No. 20 – though, we welcome the belated Christmas present!

Having sat out the last eight games, Klopp is eager for Jota to get a taste for being back in the squad before, hopefully, playing a bigger role at home to Newcastle on January 1.

Explaining his five changes and the inclusion of Jota ahead of the clash against Burnley, Klopp told Prime Video: “Diogo Jota is back, which is good.

“Smelling the stadium atmosphere again and then, hopefully, is ready for Newcastle.

“It’s the fourth game in 10 days, we had to make changes,” Klopp explained.

“They were all ready, they all gave me the thumbs up, I can go again. But then you have other players with not the same intensity in the legs and we can change, and we will.

“The first time we have a bench where we can maybe change five times properly and it doesn’t get too young immediately.”

Jota had scored a goal in each of the games before his injury at City, and Klopp acknowledged he “was in incredible shape before he got injured,” with his return very timely for the Reds.

With injuries still mounting up, with Kostas Tsimikas the latest casualty, the return of one of Klopp’s forward options is a huge boost, especially with Mo Salah to depart for AFCON after Newcastle‘s visit.

He will need time to adjust and get back up to speed, but with games coming in quick succession Jota’s ability to find a timely goal cannot be understated.