Former Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has criticised Diogo Jota’s recent form for Liverpool, saying he has deservedly slipped down the pecking order.
The Lowdown: Jota removed at half-time
The Reds reached the Champions League final on Tuesday night after a 3-2 win away to Villarreal, on what proved to be a memorable evening in Spain.
Jurgen Klopp’s men trailed 2-0 at half-time before Luis Diaz came on and changed the game, looking a constant threat and scoring Liverpool’s second goal.
It was Jota who was replaced by the Colombian, following a hugely ineffective showing on the left-hand side, touching the ball just 13 times overall.
The Latest: Kenny critical of forward
Speaking to Football Insider, Kenny was critical of the Portuguese’s performance and his form in general, claiming the ‘absolutely ridiculous’ depth means he shouldn’t play against Spurs:
“I mean, he can’t complain, can he? He’s not scored for a few weeks now and Liverpool’s options are absolutely ridiculous.
“Luis Diaz is just sat there on the bench and he’s in great form. It’s actually a surprise he didn’t start. But he had a shocking first half, like a lot of players, and Klopp had to be ruthless at half-time.
“If you are not performing, you are out. It’s as simple as that. Jota can’t complain and now he’s slipped down the pecking order. He’s still had a great season, he’s a brilliant player. But now he knows he can’t take his foot off the gas.”
The Verdict: More required currently
Jota has been a fantastic signing, being hailed as ‘exceptional’ by Klopp, but he feels a little like a square peg in a round hole at the moment.
It is now seven games without a goal for the 25-year-old, and because he isn’t offering much in his all-round game, you are left wondering if he is justifying his place in the team.
Diaz certainly looks like the strong favourite to start over him in the Champions League final as things stand, as well as any particularly huge Premier League matches, such as Saturday’s visit of Tottenham.
In other news, a foreign source has dropped a key Liverpool claim. Read more here.
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