Jamie Carragher says Diogo Jota has to be one of the first names on Jurgen Klopp’s teamsheet after his brace against Arsenal saw Liverpool run out 3-0 winners on Saturday.
The Reds have struggled in front of goal this season and have managed 15 fewer than Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Summer signing from Wolves, Jota, has missed a lot of action due to injury, but he came off the bench for the Reds against Arsenal and made the difference.
Jota opened the scoring on 64 minutes before putting the cherry on the icing eight minutes before the end.
Carragher has compared the impact the Portuguese striker has made this season to that of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane when they first burst onto the scene for the Reds.
And Carragher says that Jota has to be one of the first names on Klopp’s teamsheet.
“It was not too different to a lot of performances of late, even games Liverpool have lost,” Carragher said on Sky Sports.
“If you think how dominant Liverpool were in that first-half, where Arsenal couldn’t get a kick, couldn’t get in the opposition half.
“I saw that at Leicester a couple of months ago, Liverpool ended up losing the game, I’ve seen it away at West Ham, with Liverpool not actually creating that much in the first half for how dominant they were.
“I just want to talk about Jota and his role in the game. I know Fabinho was man of the match, I agree, and we talk about Trent later on, but you still need that man to put it in.
“How dominant Liverpool were in that first 45-60 minutes, they still didn’t create a really big chance or maybe have enough goalscorers on the pitch.
“When you look at Jota, you think of how much Liverpool have actually missed him. Watching Jota this season is almost like I’m watching Salah or Mane when they first came.
“There’s that pace, that sharpness off the mark, those penetrating runs.
“As soon as he thinks something is going to happen or someone is going to put a ball in the box, there’s that penetration, making runs in behind people.
“Yes, it’s an assist for Trent, but someone needs to be there to put it in. That’s what he’s provided, a massive goal threat.
“Talking about his impact. You look at Liverpool’s forwards, I’ve been on the show earlier in the season talking about how I felt Jota should come in for Firmino, more of a goal threat.
“I think that basically shows it and maybe how much Liverpool have missed him since he was injured.
“But those stats show me that he has to be almost one of the first names in the team sheet because again, for how dominant Liverpool were, they still don’t have enough goalscorers on the pitch.
“If you look for club and country this season, what he’s done for Portugal, he’s getting a goal or assist every 90 minutes and that shows the impact he’s had this season.”