Diogo Jota discusses Liverpool plan to deal with Mohamed Salah absence

Diogo Jota has admitted Liverpool will have to 'adapt' to Mohamed Salah's absence, but insisted the team is ready to step up.

The Reds' top scorer this season is set to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations and could miss as many as eight games for his club, depending on Egypt's progression in the tournament.

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he does not have one fixed plan for compensating for the loss of Salah, but will deal with the situation depending on availability game by game.

Jota, meanwhile, has backed his teammates to step up in the winger's absence – citing the example set two years ago during the last Africa Cup of Nations.

He told Liverpooolfc.com: "If I remember right we did quite well two years ago, but it’s never easy because the team is used to having Mo on that right wing and we know what a threat he is for the opponent. Just his presence even sometimes without touching the ball is enough.

“We will not have that, it’s a certainty, so we need to adapt. On the other hand, I know we have the quality in this squad to make his absence look like it’s not happening, hopefully that’s what it’s going to be. We know with him it will be easier but we are all ready to give it a go."

Jota's recent return from injury comes at a good time for Liverpool, with the Portuguese forward – who is the Reds' second-top scorer in 2023/24 – able to contribute again ahead of Salah's departure.

Mohamed Salah for Egypt, ProShots

The 27-year-old hit the 50-goal mark for the Reds with his strike in the Boxing Day win over Burnley – a milestone that took him by surprise.

"At the time I didn’t know, I was not aware that it was going to be 50, but it is a good mark. Although I spent a lot of time injured, unfortunately for me, it is an achievement and I look at that as another reason to be proud," he said.

"For sure I’m not the same player that stepped in the door for the first time three or four years ago almost. I think I’m better now, I understand the game better, I feel like I’m properly at home and every time I step on the pitch I know what it means to these fans and what I have to do to help the team win football games, and that in the end is what everyone wants."

Jota missed eight games through injury across November and December, but insists he is getting back to full fitness again after the impressive cameos against Burnley and Newcastle (one goal, one assist).

He added: "[I feel] Fresh, yes, but obviously it is a break in the rhythm. I played 10 minutes at Burnley and played half an hour against Newcastle, so I’m still developing, and in the cup hopefully [I can get] a few more minutes. We are still building it; although I could be fresh there is that rhythm that you obviously lose when you are out for a period of time."

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