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1 assist and 2 key passes: Return of £54M pressing monster means new signing does not start in Liverpool’s best XI

Diogo Jota return means Darwin Nunez does not start in Liverpool’s best XI


Liverpool’s best front three is still being workshopped, but the return of £54M forward, Diogo Jota, may just fix their attacking problems but may also mean that Darwin Nunez is not in the best XI.


Their famed front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is no more and their new era at the top of the pitch is yet to catch fire – but it may not be long before it does.


Following Diogo Jota’s return from injury, he found himself starting his first game since last season in a three with Luis Diaz and Salah.


All three combined for the opening goal and that may be the spark that ignites this front three.


According to WhoScored, Jota got one assist and played 2 key passes as he was at the heart of most of Liverpool’s most threatening attacks.


It means, unfortunately, that £85M record signing Darwin Nunez will have to bide his time on the bench, as the Reds have no time to waste following their poor start.


However, benching a player who cost as much as Nunez did is always going to add pressure to Jurgen Klopp and the player himself, who now has to perform whenever he gets the chance in order to fire himself back into the team. Otherwise, the weight of the price tag will begin to weigh heavy.


Instant impact against Ajax

Jota immediately made an impact against Ajax, assisting Mo Salah for the opening goal in a quick and decisive move which was expertly finished by a man out of form.

The front three all combined and it only took four touches (including the shot) to break down an Ajax side that hadn’t conceded for over eight hours.

Note Jota’s close control and precise pass for Salah – we’ve yet to see Nunez produce a link-up play like this and it’s certainly a key reason why Jota should remain as the focal point. His build and skillset can be likened to that of Firmino – who Salah thrived with.

The Portuguese forward had assisted eight times last season (alongside 21 goals too) with Nunez only managing four in 41 appearances in an inferior league.

Another reason for Jota to play is his incredible defensive contribution for a forward, again, similar to Firmino who was a fiend for chasing down defenders and counter-pressing.


He registers between the 94th-96th percentiles for interceptions, tackles and pressures for a forward as well as ranking above the 68th percentile for every other attacking and passing statistics – he is majorly underrated and extremely well-rounded.


For Nunez, it looks like a tough ask to regain the number one starting role and the longer it goes on, the more relevant the story run by Spanish newspaper El Pais: it claimed that Liverpool’s owners were left “perplexed” when Jurgen Klopp dismissed any concerns over Nunez this summer.


He’s currently stuck in a cycle of needing to play regularly to build up familiarity and chemistry but simply isn’t being afforded a run in the team due to their current season form. If I were Klopp, I’d stick with the tried, tested and markedly more suitable Jota.


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