As Diogo Jota’s return date from injury approaches, Liverpool may be forced to reassess his expectations.

Diogo Jota's return
Diogo Jota's return

One of the things that motivated the club to pursue Cody Gakpo in the transfer market this month was Jota’s injury

Diogo Jota was ready to heed Jurgen Klopp’s call a year ago.

After witnessing Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah go for the Africa Cup of Nations, where both would play in the final in Cameroon, Klopp needed attacking inspiration, and Jota delivered.

Five goals in less than a month between January and February, while Mane and Salah were abroad, brought the Portuguese star to 17 in a season that would end with him surpassing the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career in the Premier League.

Jota developed into one of Klopp’s most trusted options during the season, and the ex-Wolves man was rewarded for his efforts with a new deal agreed in August.

Diogo Jota's return
Diogo Jota’s return

In many ways, Jota’s arrival at Anfield was a classic example of how Liverpool wants its players to thrive. The dynamic striker’s move from Wolves in September 2020 was not immediately clear, but within two years he grew into a top-class striker and was rewarded with improved terms.

Sources said in 2020 that Jota was used to working in a hardworking unit like Molinuex’s at the time, citing his tactical flexibility and intellect as reasons he’s been able to prosper over time despite the new weight of expectations on his back to Liverpool.

Witty character references from Pep Lijnders‘ contacts at former club Porto helped secure the deal, and the clubs were able to negotiate a complicated and unusually structured deal that would have seen the Reds initially pay 41 million and Ki-Jana Hoever the other way for a total fee of £13.5 million and a 15% resale clause.

Twelve goals in his first 22 appearances for the Reds, including a hat-trick in the Champions League against Atalanta, more than hinted at another transfer success and achievement last season, which included important goals against Arsenal, Manchester United, and Everton, as well as Atletico Madrid and Manchester City, helped to further solidify his growing reputation.

Jürgen Klopp
Jürgen Klopp

However, Jota’s time at Anfield has primarily been one of sorrow. A hamstring injury sustained during the club’s tour of the Far East threatened to derail his entire season. Finally, after a goalless draw against Everton in early September, the former Atletico Madrid and Porto midfielder returned to a squad suffering for fluidity and pace in the fall.

Jota played just seven more games before suffering a catastrophic calf injury in the dying moments of Manchester City’s 1-0 win in October. He crushed her chances of playing for Portugal in the World Cup and was a driving force behind Cody Gakpo’s departure earlier this year.

“It’s pretty bad news for Diogo,” Klopp told reporters in mid-October. He will miss the World Cup due to a major calf injury, and the recovery process has begun. It’s heartbreaking news. He’ll be gone for several months. We’ll see. I’m not going to put a number on it since I’m still expecting for a favorable outcome while in recovery.”

“After such a terrific night at Anfield mine ended in the worst conceivable way!” Jota wrote on social media. One of my dreams came crashing down as quickly as possible at the last minute. You will never walk alone.

Despite the setback, the Portugal international was flown to Dubai for the club’s mid-season trip to continue his recovery. The striker was in a good mood on the field, walked effortlessly through the club’s headquarters, and underwent rehabilitation exercises with the Nad al Sheba complex’s medical department.

“It was great to get away of the English temperature for a while for someone with a long-standing injury,” remarked chief assistant Pep Lijnders before Christmas. “He was there at all of the video meetings, and we had a lot of them.”


The initial idea was for Jota to return in time for the Champions League-16 final against Real Madrid at Anfield in mid-February, and Klopp is anticipated to provide an injury update on the number 20 during his pre-Brighton press conference on Friday at the AXA Center.

However, with a five-month absence owing to injury, Liverpool should temper their expectations and limit their obligations on Jota when he returns. Given the gravity of the two issues, it’s possible that the 26-year-old may reach new heights in the next installment.


Liverpool’s choice to loan out Arthur Melo for a season, according to Don Hutchison, was a “poor” decision by the Premier League team.

The 26-year-old earned a switch from Serie A giants Juventus late in the summer transfer window.

Jurgen Klopp,
Jurgen Klopp,

Jurgen Klopp said his team didn’t need another midfielder during the transfer window at first, but after a few games in the 2022/23 season, he realized just how much of a problem he had in the middle of the park.

The issue, as they left late, was not an exceptional player arriving for great money, but a short-term remedy added to the club’s ranks. In the present day, Arthur Melo had a nightmare in Merseyside after only playing 13 minutes of football due to injury.

Hutchison informed ESPN that the Brazil international is still out since he communicated his thoughts on the decision over the summer.

“I mean, what a terrible idea (to take Arthur),” Hutchison added. “They miss Wijnaldum more than you can imagine. ‘He died a few years ago.’


Cody Gakpo
Cody Gakpo

Liverpool are proactive and swift when it comes to strikers, as evidenced by the Luis Diaz trade last January and now with the signing of Cody Gakpo. However, when it comes to their midfield efforts, they have been neither reactive nor proactive.

Gini Wijnaldum went for free in 2021; it was evident he did so, but a player of his caliber was not signed in advance to offset his departure.

Add to that the fact that the Liverpool midfield has lost its bite and aggression in recent seasons, and those hard-hitting midfielders have once again gone underused.

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