Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp names two Wolves players who caught his eye while scouting Diogo Jota

Premier League title challengers Liverpool travel to Molinuex Stadium on Saturday afternoon to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers.

<p>Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during his pre-Wolves press conference</p>

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during his pre-Wolves press conference

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hailed the qualities of Diogo Jota as the Portuguese forward prepares to return to Molinuex Stadium to face former club Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

The Reds boss said he knew from the first time he saw Jota that he could make it as a Liverpool player and with eight goals in 13 Premier League games this season it is a belief that has been borne out.

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The Reds still conducted extensive scouting on Jota before paying out around £40 million in September 2020 and Klopp has name checked two other players in the Wolves ranks he has been really impressed with ahead of Saturday’s clash.

Klopp picked out talented duo Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho as key players in the Wolves side, labelling them “proper, proper” midfielders.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference the Liverpool boss also detailed how his research on Jota will stand his side in good stead for the game at Wolves, despite their change of manager in the summer and subsequent alteration to their style of play.

Klopp outlines Wolves’ threat

“Wolves are a real football playing side with a real football playing idea,” Klopp said.

“Their defending maybe didn’t change too much [under new manager Bruno Lage]  - it’s still a similar system.

“We know about them from when we were having a close look at Diogo Jota.

“The numbers he had - running wise - were incredible, which made him more interesting for us.

“And the offensive players still have to do the same. It means they have counter attacks.

“They also have technically good players. Neves is available again so to get him together again with Moutinho is a proper, proper midfield.

Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Photo: Octavio Passos/Getty Images

“It’s a good team and they are really difficult to play. They are famous now for not conceding a lot and also for not even conceding a lot of shots on goal.

“We have to be creative for sure.”

Klopp on Jota’s quality

Jota returns to his former club in top goalscoring form - having netted four times in his last three games - and as a mainstay of Liverpool’s much-vaunted front three.

But his ever increasing importance to the Anfield side comes as no surprise to his manager.

“I remember when I saw him the first time, I thought: ‘he could be a player for me’.

“Because of how intense he was in all the situations.

“He’s technically on a really high level but it is the intensity that really makes the difference. At our level all players are technically incredible.

Diogo Jota of Liverpool celebrates after scoring their side’s fourth goal during the Premier League match against Everton. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

“People say that he didn’t score a lot of goals, but the problem is that Wolves had the most intensive style of play for the wingers.

“For the defence, they have to defend in an unbelievable way.

“Raul Jiminez was allowed to stay a little bit up but all the rest had to cover pretty much the whole pitch.

“That costs you energy when you need to be calm, and he was very young, he was 25.

“For us it was clear that he would make the next steps with us.”

Liverpool’s form ahead of Wolves match

The Reds go into Saturday’s match against Wolves bouyed by a 4-1 rout of Everton in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday.

Since losing to West Ham United at the start of November, the Reds have won all four matches, scoring 14 goals and conceding one.

Klopp’s side are currently third in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Chelsea.