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Diogo Jota has to take Liverpool mantle as Roberto Firmino gets set for new role – John Aldridge

Diogo Jota has to start as many games as he can for the rest of Liverpool’s season now.

Roberto Firmino, fresh from a return from injury, has to take a backseat and try and get his place back as an impact sub, because the goals look like they are going to come from Jota more than anyone.

Firmino has been out of sorts for some time and I think a period out of the team, with Jota ahead of him in the pecking order, might just be enough to sort him out and get him back on track.

He’s had a three-week break, he’ll be fresh again and coming on as a sub for Jota, he’ll have to bite the bullet and try and win his place back because that is the way football goes.

Jota was the match-winner last time out against Wolves and for me, as a centre-forward, if I have been out for three months, I’d want to play until the end of the season. No question.

He can then go to the Euros with Portugal and there is no reason to suggest he needs a rest.

He will be as hungry as anything to make his mark between now and the end of the Euros for club and country.

You can see that in his performances and he has to be on the team sheet for Jurgen Klopp as often as possible because right now, he is the biggest goal threat Liverpool have.

More so than Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at the moment, I have to say.

Jota looks the most likely, he has the hunger and desire to get the goals and the confidence he had before the injury, it is still there.

He is not lacking for that when the other three might be a little bit right now.

Take it from me, when you have been out for so long like Jota has, you want to play every game, twice, three times a week.

He will want to make up for lost time.

Who knows how different Liverpool’s season might look had Jota not been injured?

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Look at the six games lost at Anfield this calendar year, he would have scored maybe three or four goals there, which could have given them as many as 10 extra points.

That is what it is like with strikers. You get the first goal and it is a totally different game.

I am thinking, in particular, about the game against Burnley, when Divock Origi missed that big chance just before half time at 0-0.

Jota, with his confidence, wouldn’t have done that. He’d have fancied his chances there.

That is the way it is with in-form strikers.

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