For an ad-free experience, please log-in to the members site

Diogo Jota acknowledges the 2022/23 EPL season has been a “very hard” campaign for him



Portuguese midfielder Diogo Jota admitted he has found this year tough from a personal standpoint. The 26-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in pre-season and was ruled out until September. A month later, he sustained a four-month-long calf injury, curtailing his action until February. His teammates have toiled throughout 2022/23, to the point that the Reds now look highly unlikely to qualify for the Champions League. Betfred are now offering 11/4 on Liverpool finishing in the top four, which seems a huge price, but fair considering the seven point gap between themselves and fourth place. Based on oddschecker’s recent impartial review of Betfred’s services, it’s said to cover over 60 Premier League betting markets. It’s one of the few bookies to also offer a top 6 finish market, with the Reds available at 1/4 to at least clinch some kind of European football for 2023/24.

For Champions League qualification to become possible, Jurgen Klopp would need several of his goalscoring midfielders to find their shooting boots – and fast. None more so than Jota, who has endured a disappointing barren run in front of goal. It’s 12 months (31 games) without a Premier League goal, with his last coming in a 2-2 draw with Manchester City at the back end of last term.

Jota’s shot-shy form is symptomatic of Liverpool’s season

Jota was in sparkling form in 2021/22, notching 21 goals in all competitions, and becoming an integral part of Liverpool’s intense forward line. For Klopp, after losing 21 goals from Jota this term, as well as the 23 goals of the now-departed Sadio Mane from last term, it has been difficult for his team to replicate that potency in the final third. Granted, Jota remains an effective physical presence in the Reds’ midfield. His pressing and box-to-box running cannot be questioned, but his lack of goal threat is a major concern. Last term, Jota averaged 2.6 shots per game compared with 1.4 shots per game this season.

Jota fell foul of the arrival of Luis Diaz in the latter stages of 2021/22 and this, coupled with the summer arrival of Darwin Nunez, has meant that the Portuguese has lacked a defined role in the Liverpool side this season. When Jota has played, he has been deployed on the left flank, but his role has alternated week on week, shifting from wide midfielder to inside forward. This lack of a consistent job in the team has really wreaked havoc with Jota’s confidence.

Jota himself said that “finding the rhythm” to kick on in the latter stages of the season “is not easy”, but he continues to try his best for the side. That’s precisely why he is picked for big games like the Reds’ goalless midweek trip to managerless Chelsea. Nevertheless, Jota and the rest of the Liverpool side were largely muted for the contest at Stamford Bridge, looking like a shadow of Klopp’s former title winners.