Harry Kewell admits he has been ‘surprised’ by Diogo Jota’s impact at Liverpool and has backed Thiago Alcantara to succeed in the Premier League.
Jota signed for Liverpool from Wolves last summer and has enjoyed an impressive debut season on Merseyside, scoring 10 goals in just 13 starts across all competitions and adding a new dimension to the Reds’ attacking options.
Kewell admits he has been surprised by the performances of the Portugal international who has adapted perfectly to the demands of Jurgen Klopp’s side, insisting the forward’s recent return from injury is a major boost for Liverpool ahead of the Premier League’s run-in.
“When Klopp brought Diogo Jota in I was surprised, because I didn’t think anyone could break that front three for Liverpool,” he told Ladbrokes, as per the Mirror.
“But I actually think he’s been one of the signings of the season; he’s fitted in perfectly. The way he plays suits Liverpool and he really hit the ground running when he joined.
“He was hit with an injury which hasn’t helped but he’s back fit and firing again now which is great.”
Kewell also gave his verdict on fellow summer signing Thiago, who has endured a mixed campaign since arriving in a marquee deal from European champions Bayern Munich.
The Spain international has shown only glimpses of his talent and has struggled with the pace of the Premier League on occasion, though Kewell has backed the 29-year-old to come good.
Kewell believes that Thiago is ‘one of the best players in the world’ and has backed the midfielder to be a success as he continues to adapt to his teammates and the demands of English football.
“I think Thiago Alacantara is one of the best players in the world,” he added. “People might disagree with that but I think he’s just trying a little bit too hard at the moment. His vision is brilliant, his distribution is excellent.
“He’s just got to adapt to the English way. Once he’s done that, Liverpool have got a phenomenal midfielder on their hands.
“When people say you need to have relationships with certain teammates in football – particularly in that midfield area – I do agree to some extent, but unfortunately we’re now playing in a time where games are coming thick and fast.
“It’s impossible to be able to have partnerships that can play together consistently. You can probably play a pairing for maybe 30 games in a season absolute maximum, hoping they both stay injury and suspension free.
“So you need at least four different options and connections in that midfield area, so it shouldn’t matter that Thiago hasn’t been able to play with Jordan Henderson as much as we’d have perhaps liked to have seen this season.
“Liverpool do have those connections I talk about, but it’s just that people want to see the same players alongside each other week-in, week-out, and I just don’t think you can do that in this day and age.”
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Author: Harry Diamond