EPL

'Pressing monster' Jota on same level as Salah, Mane and Firmino

By Sports Desk September 23, 2020

Diogo Jota is "a pressing monster" whose technical ability is already on a par with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, according to Pep Lijnders.

Liverpool signed the forward from Wolves last week in a deal that could potentially reach a value of £45million.

Assistant manager Lijnders did not reveal if Jota would make his debut for the club in Thursday's EFL Cup third-round tie away to Lincoln City at his pre-match news conference.

But he did explain how thrilled Liverpool were to sign him and how good they think the 23-year-old already is.

"Diogo, his technical level is the same as our front three," said Lijnders.

"He has future in his feet. He will have a great pathway inside our club. He is like a pressing monster so he will fit in straight away.

"I know him since he was very young. In Portugal they say what a great signing Liverpool have made because they know exactly how he is and what kind of potential he still has.

"We are really happy with him and all the things we heard [about him] are true. He is very professional, very dedicated, passionate and brave player."

Lijnders was also asked about Thiago Alcantara, who did make his debut as a substitute for the Reds as they defeated Chelsea 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday.

He believes Thiago will help the team continue to drive forward having won the domestic title and the Champions League over the past two years, with the management team not worried by the selection dilemma caused by his arrival.

"We haven't bought a problem - we have bought a solution," said Lijnders.

"We are really happy he is with us, this team deserves a player like him because he will keep us evolving. Teams adapt, teams try to destroy our plans and we need to stay unpredictable.

"Unpredictability means that from each position we can play the last pass and we can speed up the game with our small passes as much as we can. Thiago does that - he is a great signing for us.

"These three things - the unpredictability, the speed-ups and the quality of the last pass from each position - that is what he brings."

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