Jurgen Klopp explains decision to start Diogo Jota on the bench vs Arsenal

Jurgen Klopp started Diogo Jota on the bench against Arsenal (Picture: Sky Sports)

Jurgen Klopp revealed Digo Jota’s heavy workload with Portugal during the international break played a key role in his decision to start the Liverpool forward on the substitutes’ bench against Arsenal.

The form of the 24-year-old since his summer move from Wolves has represented one of the most encouraging aspects of a difficult season for the reigning Premier League champions.

Jota has scored 16 goals in 31 appearances for club and country this term but missed three months of the campaign with a knee injury. He returned to action at the start of March and virtually picked up where he left off with a goal against his old club in the recent win at Molineux.

The former Atletico Madrid youngster scored three times in two appearances for Portugal in the last fortnight, but Klopp was not prepared to take any risks with Jota or Gini Wijnaldum for the trip to the Emirates.

Diogo Jota scored three times in two games for Portugal during the international break (Picture: Getty)

Speaking before the match the Liverpool manager said: ‘Diogo had really intense games for Portugal, same for Gini for Holland – they felt it a little bit here and there, so that is the reason for the changes.

‘I saw a lot of players during the week training with us, how they looked and what they did, and that’s the reason for the line-up.’

Liverpool are back in Champions League action in midweek against Real Madrid and former Reds star Jamie Redknapp believes Jota is certain to start against the Spanish champions.

He told Sky Sports: ‘I think he starts midweek against Real Madrid and I think that might be the reason he’s gone with Firmino.

‘He didn’t play international football and I think Jota will play against Real Madrid for sure.’

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