Jurgen Klopp hailed ‘icy’ Diogo Jota ‘on another level’ as Liverpool boss admits he was smitten by ‘exceptional’ Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli
Jurgen Klopp has admitted he was smitten with Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli after his Liverpool side booked their place in the Carabao Cup final.
The Reds sealed a date with Chelsea at Wembley as they edged past the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, winning the game 2-0 and drawing the game by the same scoreline.
Arsenal were dominated for much of the second leg, however, Martinelli caught Klopp’s attention a lot.
He told reporters: “Martinelli, by the way, everyone should remember that name. He is an exceptional player. »
Martinelli will no doubt be delighted to get praise like Klopp’s. But there is no doubt that the star striker on the pitch was Diogo Jota, with the Portuguese’s brace that ultimately separated the two sides.
With Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at the Africa Cup of Nations, there is additional expectation for Jota, who was far from a prolific goalscorer at former club Wolves.
But Liverpool Jota is a different animal.
Andy Townsend said during a co-commentary for talkSPORT: “He’s just such a cool finisher. I’ve really, really enjoyed his performances since he joined Liverpool.
“I thought he was a top player in a Wolves shirt, but he showed he could come into a club like Liverpool and make a difference.
“His goals, whether headed or on the ground, are always accomplished finishes. It’s always smart of him – he holds his run, curves his run, times his run perfectly.
“Without Mo Salah and Sadio Mane they are not as effective, of course they are not. So you look at your next and he is their next.
“Roberto Firmino always does a good job but in terms of stretching teams, scoring goals out of thin air…I’m very impressed with his performances. He really has this icy personality, he’s not too emotionally involved in things, but he’s still a threat and still a danger to the back line.
Meanwhile, talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy has praised the way Klopp has developed Jota’s game.
Cundy said on The Sports Bar: “I have to say I haven’t seen that player at Wolves. He’s come up another level, Jurgen has another piece of him.
“When you have Liverpool’s best front three, he’s in it with Mane and Salah.”
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