Deadly Diogo Jota expands Liverpool’s feared strike force into a ‘Fab Four’

Diogo Jota continues to make his mark on Liverpool with the best scoring rate this season of the club’s fearsome front four.

The summer signing from Wolves netted again in Sunday’s win over Leicester, his seventh goal in his last six club games in all competitions, as he filled the void left by Mohamed Salah’s coronavirus absence.

That left the Portugal forward averaging just under 85 minutes per goal this season, comfortably a better strike rate than Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino as he justifies manager Jurgen Klopp’s £45million outlay.

The Fab Four

  1. Diogo Jota: eight goals in 679 minutes, 89.4 minutes per goal

  2. Mohamed Salah: 10 in 1,049 minutes, 109.4 minutes per goal

  3. Sadio Mane: 5 in 977 minutes, 195.4 minutes per goal

  4. Roberto Firmino: two in 883 minutes, 441.5 minutes per goal

Liverpool’s deadly trio of recent seasons has certainly grown to a quartet, with Jota able to make significantly more impact than Takumi Minamino or Divock Origi.

He has eight goals so far in 679 minutes of football for his new club, including four in 395 in the league and a hugely impressive four in 175 in the Champions League, including a hat-trick in the previous meeting with this week’s opponents Atalanta. His record is completed by 109 scoreless minutes in the Carabao Cup.

Salah opened the season with a hat-trick against Leeds and is Liverpool’s top scorer in all competitions with 10, but even he has averaged 104.9 minutes per goal to Jota’s 84.9.

Jurgen Klopp, left, congratulates Diogo Jota after his performance against Leicester
Jurgen Klopp, left, congratulates Diogo Jota after his performance against Leicester

Mane has five in 977 minutes, or one every 195.4 minutes, with his four Premier League strikes coming in almost twice as much playing time as Jota (707 minutes).

Firmino’s goal against Leicester was only his second in 883 minutes this season, leaving him as the most vulnerable should Jota keep his place in a front three once Salah returns.

Minamino and youngster Curtis Jones are the only other players with more than one goal for Liverpool this season, scoring three and two respectively in the Carabao Cup.

Among the Premier League elite

Fewest minutes per goal by Premier League players in 2020-21
Fewest minutes per goal by Premier League players in 2020-21

Among Premier League players with five or more goals in all competitions this season, Jota ranks fourth in overall scoring rate.

Only Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Tottenham star Harry Kane have found the net more often than Jota, with the England captain only half a minute ahead with a goal every 84.4 minutes.

Salah is eighth in that list, with Kane’s team-mate Son Heung-min, West Ham’s Sebastien Haller and Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins separating the Liverpool pair – Watkins just one minute better off than Salah.

Leeds frontman Patrick Bamford and Newcastle’s Callum Wilson complete the top 10, with Mane among the chasing pack in 18th and Firmino a long way back.