Diogo Jota

Diogo Jota

Diogo Jose Teixeira da Silva (Jota)

Current Club: Liverpool.

Previous Clubs: Wolverhampton Wanderers, Atletico Madrid, Pacos Ferreira, Gondomar.

Loan Clubs: Wolverhampton Wanderers, FC Porto.

International: Portugal 35 caps 12 goals.

Trophies Won: UEFA Nations League 2019, English FA Cup 2022, English League Cup 2022, English Championship 2017/18.

Jota is possibly the most frustrating player I have seen play. One minute he is bumbling about, giving the ball away by failing to complete the easiest 5 yard pass possible, miscontrolling an easy ball or tripping over his own feet, the next he is producing a piece of magic or slotting the ball home for an important goal. It is easy to think he is just not a very good player or not trying because he can often be caught behind the play, particularly defensively.

However one thing Jota does possess is an excellent work ethic - both on the pitch and in training. Not only is he a very willing worker and will chase around, even if Jota is usually a few steps away from where he should be, but he also puts in the work in training. Unlike your average pro, Jota also does more than the minimum, staying behind to work on his game at times.

Even on international duty he stays behind after the rest have gone in to work with Cristiano Ronaldo on his leap, which is prodigious, and timing of his runs. Which no doubt goes a long way to explain why Jota is so dangerous as a goal scorer. He is even doing extra work by getting his coaching badges, which displays impressive maturity at the age of 26.

From what I have seen, I believe Jota's problem is that he is trying to think about what he is doing far too much, rather than using instinct. His brilliant moments are those instinctual acts that give him no time to think about what he does, Jota is just literally doing and reacting to the moment. It is watching his defensive work that convinces me it is a mental issue that is holding him back from his full potential.

He is often a step or three too far away when the team is pressing, allowing an easy out ball for the opposition, but watching just Jota shows that it is not lack of effort, it is that he is slow to understand where to go. It is the same when marking a player on defensive setpieces, he is often caught napping, but he is busting a gut trying to catch up to the man he has let get away. So it looks to me like he is just a bit slow mentally, in football terms I mean, as he clearly is not a stupid man, but football intelligence is different from say being good at maths or languages.

Jota looks like a player who has not had to develop an understanding of the game as a child, probably due to having such attacking talent that no one thought to work on making his game more rounded. Working on his coaching badges like he is, that should help Jota's all-round game improve as he gains a new perspective on positioning. It should allow him to have a better handle on where he needs to go as a press is developing.

When opponents are shifting around to try and get away from his marking, he should be able to recognise the plays they are using. Rather than being caught out and chasing behind the play, that should allow Jota to react a bit sooner. He will still need to develop consistency in his build up play, as the tendency for moves to break down at his feet is much too high.

That is going to be the hardest step to fix, it is within him to be better, as he has shown games where his touch was excellent, his passing was accurate and his link up excelled. It is up to him to figure out what was different about those games that it all went right for him and look to apply those lessons learnt to raise his game to new heights. If he can do that he will go from being a cult hero to a club legend.

Requested by - praveenlfc, phil_LFC