Steve McManaman hands Diogo Jota a reality check despite fine Liverpool start

Liverpool legend Steve McManaman believes that Roberto Firmino is still ahead of Diogo Jota in Jurgen Klopp’s pecking order.

Jota has made stunning start to his Reds career after arriving from Premier League rival Wolves in the summer, scoring five goals in eight top-flight appearances.

The Portugal star’s latest strike earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw at Brighton and his stunning form, coupled with Firmino’s struggles, has caused debate over Klopp’s best starting XI this season.

However Reds icon McManaman says the Brazilian, who is part of Liverpool’s famed attacking trio alongside Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, should still be first choice.

Liverpool’s Diogo Jota (left) and Roberto Firmino warming up

“I still think Jurgen Klopp likes the fact he can rely on Firmino, Mane and Salah at the moment,” said McManaman.

“As much as Jota has been absolutely fantastic…I think he (Jota) would still be the one to drop out at the moment.

“If his form carries on, that might change but he won the league with the other three so he knows they can trust them fully.”

Jota was on target again for Liverpool in their 1-1 draw with Brighton

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While McManaman was full of praise for Liverpool’s attack, he feels they are vulnerable in defence following long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

He added: “I think the only area is in the central defensive area. I don’t think so in any other area of the pitch.

“People keep saying that they let Lovren go and they never replaced him which is true but you don’t expect two or three injuries in the same positions.

Firmino has endured a tough time in front of goal this season

“If I had the money would I bring someone in? Yes. I don’t know what the financial situation is. Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are out for a significant amount of time. You can move Fabinho back into the centre-half area where he has been fantastic.

“If they have the finances, it is a no-brainer to go and sign a centre-half, then if you have too many central defenders then you sort it out at the end of the season.

“It would be a no-brainer and I would look at getting a top centre-defender and deal with the numbers further down the line.”

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