Diogo Jota has made an immediate impact at Liverpool, but John Barnes says the in-form Portuguese forward is not yet ready to take a starting berth.
Jurgen Klopp invested £45 million ($52m) in the hard-working attacker during the summer transfer window.
A raid was launched on Premier League rivals Wolves, with the proven performer in the Premier League added to the title-winning ranks at Anfield.
Jota's value has been showcased across his early weeks on Merseyside, with three goals recorded in eight appearances including important efforts in his last two outings.
Klopp has used Jota from the off against Sheffield United and Midtjylland and seen that faith richly rewarded, but Barnes believes the 23-year-old remains a back-up option behind an established front three.
The former Liverpool winger told BonusCodeBets: “At this moment in time, Diogo Jota would not get picked ahead of one of the front three players, but he is pushing for a starting place.
“If he keeps going the way he has started the season, he will put pressure on the three starting attackers – it’s a good thing to have competition for places.
“Before this season, if one of the front three was to get a long-term injury then you would start to worry as Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi weren’t good enough to replace them, but now with Jota coming in, I have full faith that he would come into the starting team and do equally as well as any of the current front three.
“His price tag of £45m, it doesn’t make any difference, whether he is sitting on the bench or starting. People can complain about a £45m player sitting on the bench, but if you were to put him in the team and drop Mo Salah, then you have an £80m player now sitting on the bench.
“If teams want a strong squad, that is the money that you have to spend to bring them in, so for me, his price tag is completely irrelevant.”
Jota will be hoping to be involved in some capacity when Liverpool return to Premier League action on Saturday at home against West Ham.