Jurgen Klopp admitted to being wowed by Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli after his Liverpool side booked their place in the Carabao Cup final.
The Reds sealed a date with Chelsea at Wembley as they cruised past the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, winning the match 2-0 and the tie by the same scoreline.
Arsenal were outplayed for large parts of the second leg, however, Martinelli very much caught the eye of Klopp.
He told journalists: “Martinelli, by the way, everyone should remember that name. He’s an outstanding player.”
Martinelli will no doubt be chuffed to get praise like that from Klopp. But there’s no doubting the star forward on the pitch was Diogo Jota, with the Portuguese’s brace is what ultimately separated the two sides.
With Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at the Africa Cup of Nations, there’s an added expectation on Jota, who was a far from prolific goalscorer at former club Wolves.
But Liverpool Jota is a different animal.
Andy Townsend said on co-commentary for talkSPORT: “He’s just such a cool finisher. I’ve really, really enjoyed his performances since he came to Liverpool.
“I thought he was a top player in a Wolves shirt but he’s shown that he can go into a club like Liverpool and make the difference.
“His goals, whether they’re headed goals or on the floor, they’re always accomplished finishes. It’s always clever from him – he holds his run, bends his run, times his run perfectly.
“Without Mo Salah and Sadio Mane they’re not as effective, of course they’re not. So you look to your next one and he is their next one.
“Roberto Firmino always does a good job but in terms of stretching teams, scoring goals out of nothing… I’m very impressed with his performances. He’s really got that icy cool persona, doesn’t get too emotionally wrapped up in things but always a threat and always a danger to the back line.”
Meanwhile, talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy heaped praise for the way Klopp has developed Jota’s game.
Cundy said on The Sports Bar: “I have to say I did not see this player at Wolves. He’s gone up another level, Jurgen has got another tune out of him.
“When you have Liverpool’s best front three, he’s in it with Mane and Salah.”
Betting Offer Of The Day
WILLIAM HILL – 30/1 for Both Teams To Score – Arsenal v Liverpool* – CLAIM HERE
888SPORT – Bet £10 Get £30 + £10 Casino Bonus – CLAIM HERE
William Hill: 18+. Play Safe. New customers using EPB30. Mobile only. Applies to bets placed from 17:00 19th January 2022 until 19:45 20th January 2022. Max £1 bet at 30/1. Returns paid as 3 x £5 free bets (30 day expiry). Player & currency restrictions & terms apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
888: New customers only. Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.5) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Casino bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs apply 18+ begambleaware.org