EPL: Roberto Firmino denies having a ‘personal battle’ with Diogo Jota at Liverpool


Roberto Firmino has denied being locked in a “personal battle” with Diogo Jota for ninth place at Liverpool. (More football news)

Jota’s form since leaving Wolves for an initial £ 41million has been a huge plus for Jurgen Klopp.

The 23-year-old has scored three goals in six Premier League appearances and four more in three Champions League appearances, including a hat-trick in the 5-0 win at Atalanta.

Despite making two fewer league appearances than Firmino this season, Jota has attempted as many shots (13) as the Brazil international, who has scored only once.

This gives Jota a 27.3% conversation rate, well above Firmino’s 14.3, while also enjoying a better conversion percentage when it comes to Big Chances (67% vs. 50%).

Such an impact has threatened Firmino’s position in the Premier XI, but he insists he’s not just competing with the new signing for minutes on the pitch.

“Liverpool have a great squad of players so winning a starting place here is not at all easy, and I’m used to it,” Firmino said ahead of Sunday’s game against Leicester City, according to the Mirror.

“Diogo is a great footballer and another companion in the team. We all work hard during the week and then the coach decides who comes out. So I don’t have a personal battle with him.”

Firmino has become a mainstay of Klopp’s plans thanks in part to his more selfless work alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Indeed, the former Hoffenheim forward has created nine chances in the league this season – seven more than Jota – and has two assists, most of the Reds’ forwards in 2020-21.

Firmino believes Liverpool’s overall offensive strength gives them a front line that matches that of any team in the world.

“Liverpool’s attacking line is spectacular, and I would say comparable to any other in the world, in one of the major leagues,” he said. “Now this year I consider it even better. And it is not the emotion that makes me say this, but simply the result of looking at the statistics.

“As for me, I work hard in training – and then on the pitch, I do what Jurgen Klopp tells me. That’s my working philosophy, always.”

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