Comparing Diogo Jota to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane is “unfair” on the Portuguese, says John Barnes, but a Liverpool legend is still expecting an in-form forward to have “a great career” at Anfield.
A summer signing from Wolves has made a dream start to his spell on Merseyside.
Jota was initially seen as a back-up addition for the reigning Premier League champions, with Jurgen Klopp in need of greater depth to his attacking options.
The 23-year-old has, however, hit the ground running on the back of a £45 million ($60m) transfer.
Nine goals have been recorded through just 14 appearances, with the record books being re-written along the way.
Jota has delivered more end product than the likes of Salah and Mane contributed through their early outings for Liverpool, with two star turns going on to become talismanic figures.
Barnes believes it is too early to be placing an in-form performer into a similar category, but he does see Klopp finding considerable value in another shrewd signing.
The Reds legend told BonusCodeBets: “Jota is an excellent player and the way Klopp is playing him has made him fit right into the team. You want players who can score, which he can.
“Up until now, we’ve relied heavily on the front three to score but the fact that Jota can actually play one of the midfield three, or one of the front three, but score from either, adds a lot of strength to the team, which shows what a fantastic signing he’s been for us.
“As Jota’s early appearances for Liverpool have shown, he can immediately offer the team a decisive attacking threat, coupled with an attitude and mentality made for a club such as Liverpool.
“Comparing Jota with Salah/Mane/Firmino is unfair, as at this very moment in time, he hasn’t got the same experience but his technical level is the same as the level of the front trio.
“Most definitely one to watch and I have no doubt that he’ll have a great career at Liverpool.”
Jota was back among the goals in his last outing at Brighton, as Mane started on the bench and replaced a frustrated Salah in the second half, and Klopp has more big selection calls to make this week in continental and domestic clashes with Ajax and Wolves.