Liverpool has been flying high this season. With only one loss throughout the 23/24 campaign, they are currently leading the league table. However, the job is still not done for the Red army. They have nearly half a season left to lift their 20th league trophy.
Moreover, with City breathing down their necks, Liverpool can’t afford any slip-ups. Amidst this, Klopp’s men were scheduled to face Bournemouth for their 21st league match over the weekend.
But coming into the match, Klopp had one question to answer- With Mohamed Salah away at the Africa Cup of Nations, where would Liverpool’s goals come from without their star man?
Apparently, Diogo Jota saw it all and took matters into his own hands.
For he answers all uncertainties, and how. The Portuguese forward was pivotal to Liverpool’s 4-0 superiority, setting up Darwin Núñez neatly for the first goal before scoring two clinical strikes of his own to put the game to bed. They were both typical Jota finishes—instinctive but with tremendous authority and assuredness.
Sure, he won the stadium over, but one person who was particularly impressed by his performance was the Liverpool legend – Jamie Carragher himself. He was all praise for the Liverpool scorer. After the game, Carragher even put forward the idea that Jota might be Liverpool’s most natural finisher of the Premier League era. Comparing Jota to Liverpool legends such as Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres, Luis Suárez, and Salah was quite the compliment. More so, coming from Carragher himself.
“Finishing-wise I think he’s as good if not better than Torres, even a Suarez, even Salah. Maybe the only one who could probably compete with him is Robbie Fowler in the early days of the Premier League,” Carragher said to Sky sports.
“That man, Jota, what a signing, an absolute predator, a goalscorer, similar a bit to Robbie Fowler of the past, so many goals in and around that box.”. Added the former Liverpool defender.
Maybe it is a big leap to make such a bold comparison with the club’s iconic name, but we can’t deny that sometimes Diogo Jota’s talents do go under the radar. But exactly how similar are Diogo Jota and Robbie Fowler? Let’s have a discussion.
It has been more than a decade between the two tenures that we are talking about, but after comparing both the strikers, we do have a few dots to connect.
And one such aspect is their Predatory Instincts. It is as if they can smell goals. Fowler’s first touch and ruthless efficiency in the box were legendary, and Jota echoes that quality. Their composure in tight spaces, ability to create something from nothing, and knack for sending the net rippling with powerful strikes bear a striking resemblance.
Another point of similarity is their Style Of Play. Fowler possessed surprising deftness for a powerful figure, threading passes and dribbling with unexpected grace. Jota, too, showcases an impressive technical repertoire. His quick feet, intelligent movement, and ability to link up with teammates make him a valuable cog in Klopp’s gegenpressing machine. He effortlessly switches wings, drops deep to initiate attacks, and isn’t afraid to take on defenders. Though both thrive in dangerous areas, their skillsets transcend mere poaching.
However, comparing a young Jota to the Liverpool legend Fowler can be tagged as premature. Fowler’s longevity and sheer volume of goals remains a benchmarks Jota is yet to approach.
Some players score more, other talents burned brighter for longer, but nobody in Premier League history scored so many so quickly as Robbie Fowler. Debuting at just 17 years of age, Fowler has been an iconic figure for Liverpool’s front line. He has been the 5th highest-scoring player in the history of the club, scoring 183 goals in 369 matches for the Merseyside club.
Interestingly, Fowler still holds the record for the most goals before turning 21 years of age. He is the 10th player to reach the fastest 50-goal target for Liverpool.
On the contrary, Jota’s numbers are not yet something to gasp about. Even tough Jota was expected to contribute with goals, he was never tagged as a ”natural striker”. Having said that, it must also be mentioned that Jota’s shot conversion rate is really commendable. Out of 135 games for the red jersey, the Portuguese striker has scored 52 goals. In fact, out of players to score 20+ goals for Liverpool, only Divock Origi (20.8%) has a better shot conversion percentage than Jota’s 19.3%.
However, when compared with Robbie Fowler, Jota’s goal per match record (0.385) does fall short of the Englishman’s (0.495).
But when comparing to Fowler and examining his goal stats, we must also take note that the two forwards have a bit of discrepancies in their position of play. Fowler was more of a lone wolf, a focal point around whom Liverpool’s attack often revolved. Jota, on the other hand, thrives in a fluid attacking ensemble, seamlessly adapting to different roles and positions. This versatility adds another dimension to his game, while Fowler’s sheer force of personality and natural charisma might be an aspect Jota hasn’t quite replicated.
Another aspect where the English forward should be kept ahead is his aerial prowess. The 173cm Fowler was quite a commendable presence in the box for aerial balls. Something that Jota isn’t known for. On the flip side, Jota’s work ethic off the ball and the defensive responsibilities are a significant improvement over Fowler. So we can compare them as much as we want, but they are different profiles at the end of the day.
Jota is good, but he is one of a kind. To enroll himself into the Liverpool wall of fame, Jota still has a long way to go. But the signs are promising for sure.