Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been urged to drop Roberto Firmino for tonight’s game at Atalanta and replace him with Diogo Jota, with former Reds forward Peter Crouch conceding he has changed his mind on the Brazilian forward.
Jota came off the bench on Saturday against West Ham to score his third goal in three games at Anfield.
The Portuguese ace has been a revelation since joining from Wolves in the summer.
He arrived for an initial fee of just £4million – though the eventual transfer will set Liverpool back nearer to £45m – and was given the role of understudy to Liverpool’s front three.
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are virtually un-droppable for Jurgen Klopp, and are rarely absent from the Reds’ starting XI.
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Jota instead has been forced to make an impact off the bench, and has only started two Premier League games so far.
However, that could all change soon, as Crouch believes it could be time for Klopp to decide to give Jota a start.
Writing in his Daily Mail column, he admitted he has now changed his mind on Firmino due to the Brazilian’s poor form.
Firmino has only found the net once this season, and is known for his desire to drop deep and create chances for others.
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Crouch explained that while Firmino has obviously proved his worth to Klopp, it could be time for him to be demoted to the bench.
He insisted that Jota deserves a start as he has made a difference every time he’s appeared for the Reds.
Crouch wrote: “I was of the opinion Firmino was one player who would never be dropped by Jurgen Klopp but, given their respective form, there is now a big decision for Liverpool’s manager.
“I have been so impressed by Jota.
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“He took his goal brilliantly against West Ham and looks like he will make a difference every time he is on the pitch.
“He has given them an element of unpredictability and has made his transfer fee look very shrewd business.
“He warrants a start in a game of that magnitude against City but I wouldn’t forget about all Firmino has done.
“It would be a big, big shout if he didn’t start next Sunday.”
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