'With some distance' - Jurgen Klopp names the best finisher at Liverpool after Diogo Jota return

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Diogo Jota of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage on April 21, 2024 in London, England.(Photo by Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images)
Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring Liverpool's third and final goal in the win at Fulham -Credit:Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp has admitted Liverpool found themselves in a "crazy situation" where they were able to introduce both Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez as substitutes against Fulham.

The Reds ran out 3-1 winners over the Cottagers thanks to goals from Trent-Alexander Arnold, Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota. With the latter flanked by Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo, it was a much-improved performance from Liverpool in attacking following a below-par couple of weeks.

Salah and Nunez are two of the players to have struggled for form during such a run, with the pair rotated against Fulham as a result as Jota was handed his first start after a long-term knee injury and Gakpo was kept his place after some encouraging recent showings.

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Explaining his decision to make such changes, Jurgen Klopp was delighted to have such options available at his disposal again, having seen his squad plagued by injuries over the past six months.

“We made these changes because we were 100% convinced we had to,” the Reds boss explained. “Not a gamble.

“We play on Wednesday and then we play on Saturday, in London again, which is crazy enough. That’s how it is. We need to make these changes before the players give me the obvious sign, ‘sorry, I’m done’. Really happy with that.

“The squad situation at the moment is as good as it has been in this season. Hopefully it stays like that. If you saw our bench today, that was real quality and experience.

“Yes, have them all back and can mix it up. Can bring on Darwin and Mo today, is a crazy situation. Didn’t work out a little bit because of offside but it looked really dangerous. Now let’s see how we start the next game.

“I loved all the kids who played for us. Jarell (Jarell Quansah) did today again an incredible job. We wouldn’t be where we are without them.

“But it’s cool to have all the big guns as well around. Now, we have to stay really on it. Let’s see what we can do.”

Klopp would insist that Salah is Liverpool’s best finisher after the final whistle, despite the Egyptian being criticised for his showings in front of goal in recent weeks.

But his defence of the forward did not stop him waxing lyrical about Jota, Diaz and Gakpo after the trio started at Salah’s expense.

“The best finisher in this club is obviously Mo Salah with some distance,” he said. “It’s just super cool to have Diogo back. He can play all three positions upfront.

“Tell you what, it’s as important that Cody Gakpo is back. He wasn’t injured, but has been struggling. He’s now fully back. Three or four games, he is physically there. Really strong, keeps the ball, that’s really helpful as well.

“But it’s really cool to have Diogo back, now only because of the goal. Because of the performance, looked really good.

“Lucho played an incredible game on the right wing. First half especially, nearly didn’t stop. It all helped. Wataru Endo, little bit of a dip but second half, wow, what a game. Very helpful.”