Georginio Wijnaldum says Diogo Jota is proving to be an even better acquisition than Liverpool thought he would be.
Jota has been a revelation since joining from Wolves in September for a reported £41million, scoring nine goals in 15 appearances across all competitions.
He is already well on course to overtake his total Premier League tally of seven from last season, with five goals from as many starts in the English top flight so far this campaign.
Jota is aiming to become just the fourth player to score in his first five home games for a club in the Premier League when his former side Wolves visit Anfield on Sunday.
Wijnaldum is in no doubt Jota – who scored 16 goals in 67 Premier League appearances for Wolves – will revel in the occasion given his stunning start to life with Jurgen Klopp’s champions.
“It’s going to be a really, really big game for him and also a game he can enjoy,” the Netherlands international told Liverpool’s official website.
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“I’m always happy when I play against Newcastle because that’s my only other team [in the Premier League]. For him I think it’s different because he played more seasons for Wolves than I played for Newcastle.
“I’m really impressed because I already knew how good he was, but now I can see that he’s even better than what we thought of him.
“Now we train with him, we play games with him, so we can really see what kind of player he is, what kind of quality player he is.
“I think he’s showed it with the start he’s had at the club.”
Jota has not enjoyed much time on the pitch with influential defender Virgil van Dijk after he suffered knee ligament damage in October’s Merseyside derby against Everton following a forceful challenge from Jordan Pickford.
The 29-year-old underwent a successful operation, but he could ultimately miss the rest of the club season and even next year’s delayed Euro 2020.
Wijnaldum, who admits he struggled to find the right words to say to his compatriot in the immediate aftermath of his injury, revealed Van Dijk is in a positive frame of mind regarding his recovery.
“He deals well with the situation and is positive about it,” he added. “We call quite often now because I know that I can.
“But in the beginning for me it was a bit like, ‘Can I call him or not?’ because I can understand that in the situation he was in you also want a little bit of rest and moments for yourself.
“In the beginning it was a little bit of searching for the right way to approach him. But now it goes really well.”