Diogo Jota latest Liverpool player forced to watch from bench – but chance beckons

Diogo Jota has played just 27 minutes of Portugal’s Euro 2024 campaign thus far, having been left to watch from the bench on Saturday evening, though his chance could soon arrive.

Jota had a goal ruled out during his cameo off the bench in Portugal’s first game at the tournament, before being left as an unused substitute in his side’s 3-0 win over Turkiye.

Roberto Martinez opted to start Bernardo Silva, Rafael Leao and Cristiano Ronaldo in attack, with Bruno Fernandes deployed as the No. 10 during Saturday evening’s clash.

Pedro Neto was a half-time substitute, and a chance never arrived for Jota as Portugal cruised to victory with three goals scored over 34-minute period between the first and second half.

The win made it two from two in Group F, meaning they have already confirmed their place in the knockout round and will meet one of the best third-placed sides in the last 16.

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - Thursday, June 20, 2024: England's Ivan Toney, Joe Gomez and Lewis Dunk on the bench before the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match between Denmark and England at the Waldstadion. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is where Jota’s opportunity could arrive as the final group game against Georgia is now a dead rubber, leaving Wednesday as the likely route into the starting lineup for the Liverpool man.

If selected by Martinez in the XI, it would be for only the fourth time since September 2022 – quite the wait!

Jota’s place on the bench without seeing minutes follows Ibrahima Konate‘s similar experience for France, as well as Joe Gomez for England -neither have played in the tournament yet.

Ryan Gravenberch is another who has watched from the substitutes bench thus far for the Netherlands, a direct contrast to Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo, who have been key pillars for Ronald Koeman.

In the coming days, we will discover which Reds will progress to the next stage and who will start their summer holidays – at this stage, Andy Robertson and Dominik Szoboszlai are closest to an exit.