Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi has joined Bundesliga side Union Berlin on loan for 2020-21.
The 23-year-old is set to spend the duration of the season in Germany after a switch was agreed between the clubs on Saturday.
It represents a second successive campaign in the Bundesliga for the Nigerian, who made 12 appearances in the division for FSV Mainz 05 last term and scored one goal.
Awoniyi, a FIFA U17 World Cup winner in 2013, had previously signed a new long-term contract with the Reds in the summer of 2018, having moved to Merseyside three years earlier.
Jota arrives as the third signing of the summer for the Reds, with his switch from Wolves coming after the breakdown of a deal for Timo Werner back in June.
It is a much-needed addition, with Liverpool lacking genuine quality as cover for Jurgen Klopp‘s established front three, and Jota’s 16 goals and six assists in 48 games last season suggest he is capable of filling this role.
Not only that, but the Portuguese believes he can meet the requirements off the ball, as a forward who is hungry for the ball and adept in the press.
“Obviously, I need to know my team-mates, but they will know me as a player that is a team player,” he told LFCTV.
“I always try to help them the best I can, and they can count on me in the future. I think we can do great things here.”
He described Liverpool as “a special team,” saying “the way they press, the intensity that they put on the game is just another level.”
“I want to be part of that hunger to play the game, and to score goals,” he added.
“I think that is a great way to play the game, and that’s the way I want to play as well.”
Supplanting any of Salah, Mane and Firmino will be a difficult task, and Jota cannot be expected to do so in his first campaign with the club.
However, his potential indicates that he could well do so in the future, and the 23-year-old explained that he is looking to learn from Liverpool’s “world-class” trio in order to develop.
“They are world-class players. They try to win every match, they score a lot of goals, they work together, and I want to be one more piece to join those three,” he said.
“That’s what I will do. Obviously, they are more experienced than me, so the first stage is to connect with them, to learn with them, then hopefully I can be good help for them and for the club to win games.”
One of the biggest advantages of signing Jota is his ability to play in every role across the front line, including as a striker, which could lighten the load on Firmino in tandem with Takumi Minamino.
“I think every manager looks at that, and we as players know that being versatile, playing in different positions, is always useful,” Jota continued.
“I’m ready to play in each position the manager wants, and that’s what I’ll try to do. I’ll give my best every single day.”
Jota has been confirmed as the Reds’ new No. 20, inheriting the shirt last worn by Adam Lallana as he moves to Anfield in a deal worth an initial £41 million.
That could rise to £45 million depending on the Portuguese’s success at the club, and if that is the case, he will have proved another excellent signing.
Given the outlay, which makes Jota the fourth-most expensive signing in Liverpool’s history, that he is not set to arrive as an immediate first choice could prompt scrutiny.
But speaking on his unveiling, Klopp hailed his new attacker for allowing his side to become more “unpredictable,” owing to his ability to play a variety of roles and systems.
“He’s a player who gives us so many options to use him,” he told the club’s official website.
“He’s 23 years old, still far away from being kind of a finished article, so much potential. He has the speed, he can combine, can defend, can press.
“It makes it just more unpredictable and gives us real options for different systems because he can play pretty much all three positions up front in a 4-3-3, if we play with four midfielders he can play both wings.
“So, these kinds of things. It’s just nice. And he has some natural things which we have in our game, like this desire and the greed and the direction.
“He is part of this unbelievable Portuguese generation in the moment, where they have really a lot of obviously quite skilled players. We saw the Portuguese team last time, it’s quite impressive.
“So, I’m really happy to have him here. And on top of that, a really good guy and really happy to be here.”
There is an expectation on every player in Klopp’s side to contribute defensively, and this is particularly the case in attack, where the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino lead the press.
Jota is able to fit into this ethos, with the manager explaining how performances under Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves proved he is capable of meeting his demands.
“I like what Wolves are doing. They obviously play a completely different system but what they do is ask pretty much all offensive players for proper defensive work,” he continued.
“And the whole team there is doing that, and Diogo as well. Of course, that’s one of the things.
“Of course he has to adapt to a few things and has to learn a few things—what we do differently because there are, of course, differences—but a lot of things are already there. And so I’m really excited.”
Klopp insisted that Jota “knows it’s a step for him,” confirming that he would arrive as a squad option, not a first-choice starter like Thiago, but added that “he can give us things we don’t have.”
It is an essential signing, especially for the future with both Mane and Salah due to depart for the Africa Cup of Nations at the start of 2022, and when Jota gets going, Liverpool can be even more formidable.
Diogo Jota sealed his switch to Liverpool FC on a long-term contract at Anfield on Saturday – and our photographer was there to capture the new signing's first day.
The Portugal international has completed a permanent transfer to the Premier League champions from Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he scored 44 goals in the past three seasons.
Jota wrapped up the move at his new home stadium, where he also tried out his new club’s colours and sat down with Liverpoolfc.com for an exclusive interview.
Take a look in our photo gallery below…
Diogo Jota became Liverpool's third new recruit for 2020-21 on Saturday - and you have the chance to win a Reds home shirt signed by the No.20.
After three seasons and 44 goals for Wolverhampton Wanderers, the 23-year-old has sealed a switch to the Premier League champions.
To celebrate Jota's arrival, we're giving away a 2020-21 home jersey signed by the Portugal international on his first day with the club.
Simply follow the instructions below to enter...
Last Updated: 20/09/20 7:57amLiverpool unveil new signing Diogo Jota
Liverpool have completed the signing of Diogo Jota from Wolves for a fee of £40m, which could rise to £45m.
The move comes a day after the Premier League champions secured the signing of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in a deal that could be worth up to £25m.Save over 25% with NOW TV
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Jota's arrival at Anfield is separate to a deal which saw defender Ki-Jana Hoever moving to Wolves on a five-year contract in a transfer worth £10m, plus add-ons.
That means Liverpool's initial net spend with Wolves over the two deals is around £30m.
"It's just a really exciting moment for me and my family," Jota told Liverpool's website.
"All of my path since I was a kid and now, to join a club like Liverpool - the world champions - is just unbelievable. I just want to get started.
"It is one of the best teams in the world - the best at the moment because they are world champions. When you look at the Premier League, you always see Liverpool as one of the biggest teams in the country, so it's impossible to say no.
"So we just want to come [here], to give our best and hopefully I can become a good option for Liverpool in the future."
As for the impact he can have at Anfield, Jota added: "I think I am a team player.
"I play up front and my job is to find a way to score goals and to provide assists and that's what they can expect from me - that I will always do my best. I will always try to help the team in the best way possible.
"They [the fans] can count on me because now I am one of them and I will give my best."
The 23-year-old has been given the vacant No 20 shirt.
The Portugal international scored 26 goals in 85 appearances in all competitions for Wolves since joining from Atletico Madrid in July 2018.Liverpool youngster Ki-Jana Hoever (R) has joined Wolves
Hoever, who appeared four times for Jurgen Klopp's side, can play right wing-back, right-back and centre-back - all positions which Wolves were keen to strengthen during this transfer window.
The 18-year-old joined Liverpool from Ajax in 2018 and only signed a new long-term contract at Anfield last summer but has now joined Wolves on a permanent deal.'Jota's versatility key for Klopp'
Sky Sports News' Kaveh Solhekol on The Transfer Show:
Jurgen Klopp has been looking for some competition for his front three and has decided to go for Jota.
Liverpool were also interested in Watford's Ismaila Sarr, but Jota is Klopp's first choice.
Klopp believes he has the required versatility because he can play anywhere along the front line and that will put some pressure on Salah, Firmino and Mane.Analysis: How Thiago could transform Liverpool ONE MILLION POUNDS! Can you imagine?
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Sky Sports' Adam Bate:
'Cover for Andrew Robertson has already arrived. Attacking depth would help. But a midfield creator could be transformative. Naby Keita brings some of those qualities, albeit slightly further forwards, but think of that midfield and one still suspects industry is valued over invention.
'It has hardly been a problem, whether it is Fabinho cracking one in from 30 yards or Jordan Henderson driving the team on to glory at home and abroad over the past 18 months. It has come to be seen as the Liverpool way. A decision to focus on the flanks. A style that works.
'Thiago is the Spanish pass master with Brazilian roots and a Barcelona upbringing. A man at home in the midfield hot house, seemingly born to work in those tight spaces.
'He averaged 82.6 completed passes per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga this past season - the most of any regular midfielder. He had a pass completion rate in excess of 90 per cent - an accuracy level that does not really reflect the range of his passing with both feet.
'Where he could help Liverpool is by moving the ball with one and two touches, opening games up against deeper defences.'Summer transfer window - key dates and times
The summer transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday October 5 with a feast of activity lined up on Transfer Deadline Day on Sky Sports News and across our Sky Sports platforms.
A domestic-only window for deals between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday, October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on SSN and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.ONE MILLION POUNDS! Can you imagine?
You read correctly. Do not miss your chance to scoop £1m for free in this week's Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 3pm Saturday.
The versatile Diogo Jota will provide further Premier League-proven quality to Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool squad after signing a long-term deal to join from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Jota penned his contract with the champions at Anfield on Saturday and has selected the No.20 jersey with his new club, becoming the Reds’ third signing for 2020-21.
Read our profile of the Portuguese’s career path to Liverpool below…
Born in Porto on December 4, 1996, Jota took his first steps in the professional game with nearby Pacos de Ferreira, for whom he made a senior debut aged 17.
That first appearance came in the October of the 2014-15 season, in the Portuguese cup, and the forward fittingly marked the occasion with a goal and an assist.
Diogo’s development yielded opportunities in league football by the second half of the campaign and he went on to make eight top-flight starts, scoring twice, in the remainder of the term.
He carried that form into the subsequent season – indeed, significantly improved on it – as he missed only three Primeira Liga fixtures and weighed in with a dozen strikes to help his side claim a seventh-place finish.
Jota’s talent had sparked transfer interest and it was Atletico Madrid who secured his signature in the summer of 2016, though he would never actually play a game for the Spanish side.
Instead, there was an almost-immediate return to his homeland; specifically, a loan to FC Porto, where he linked up with Nuno Espirito Santo for the first time.
Diogo chipped in with eight Primeira Liga goals in his 27 appearances for Os Dragoes, who finished second to Benfica in the title race despite losing only twice throughout the campaign.
He also gained maiden experience in the Champions League that season, featuring eight times and netting once – in a home victory over Leicester City – until their elimination in the last 16.
Nuno soon departed the Porto dugout and, within days, was appointed to the helm of an ambitious Wolves project. Jota followed the coach to Molineux after another loan from Atletico was arranged.
It was to prove a perfect fit.
The attacker was integral to Wolves’ ascendancy out of the Championship under Nuno, plundering a team-high 17 goals in the division to aid their accumulation of 99 points and clinching of top spot in hugely impressive fashion.
Operating predominantly off the left-hand side, but capable of playing in a variety of different positions and tactical set-ups, Jota – whose loan became a permanent transfer in 2018 – remained a mainstay of the XI when the club continued to bolster their squad for the demands of the top flight.
And he and his side achieved an impeccable step up to the Premier League.
Diogo bagged 16 goals over the past two campaigns as Wolves tallied 57 and then 59 points, finishing seventh at the end of each season.
The Portuguese also topped up his European experience during a mammoth involvement for Nuno’s charges, who began 2019-20 with a Europa League qualifier in the July and ended it 13 months later in a quarter-final defeat by eventual tournament winners Sevilla.
Jota was on target nine times in his 14 outings in the competition, a total that included two hat-tricks – Besiktas and Espanyol succumbed to his finishing at Molineux.
Last season also saw Diogo make his senior international debut, as a substitute in Portugal’s 6-0 defeat of Lithuania last November, and earlier this month he opened his goalscoring account for his country with a strike in the 4-1 win against Croatia.
Now the 23-year-old will take another new step in his career, joining Klopp’s squad in their attempt to follow up the four trophies collected since June 2019.
Ki-Jana Hoever has completed a move to Wolves that is worth an initial £9 million, just two years on from joining Liverpool from Ajax for a ridiculously low fee of £90,000.
When Hoever swapped Amsterdam for Merseyside in 2018, the compensation paid to Ajax already represented a real bargain for the Reds.
Though untested at senior level, the Dutchman was considered one of the finest young talents in Europe, and proved this in his first forays into life at Liverpool.
Excelling in the academy ranks, Hoever was given his first-team debut against Wolves in the FA Cup at the start of 2019, becoming, at the time, the third-youngest player to feature for the club.
Having made four appearances for the senior squad in total, the 18-year-old was expected to head out on loan this summer to gain crucial experience.
But Hoever has now joined Wolves on a permanent deal that could land Liverpool over £13.5 million, including various add-ons negotiated with the Premier League side.
It is a shock exit, but given the Reds have made a sizeable profit, it could prove a wise business decision, particularly given how tight the market is currently.
The inclusion of a 15 percent sell-on clause could provide the club with an even bigger boost if Hoever realises his potential.
Hoever’s pathway to the first team was blocked by Neco Williams, who is now cemented as backup to Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back, while the player himself stressed that he was not physically ready to perform at centre-back.
At Wolves, he is expected to be given many opportunities in his natural role, with Matt Doherty having already left Molineux to join Tottenham this summer.
Writing on Instagram ahead of his exit, Hoever said it was an “honour” to represent Liverpool.
“Thank you to everyone at Liverpool who has helped to play a part in my progression over the past two years on and off the pitch,” he wrote.
“It’s been an honour to represent such a big club and be around top players and staff every day. I’ll never forget the memories I made here.”
All the best, Ki-Jana!
Liverpool defender Ki-Jana Hoever has today completed a permanent transfer to Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Netherlands youth international spent two years with the Reds after joining the club from Ajax in September 2018 and made his senior debut 11 days before his 17th birthday.
Hoever was introduced as a sixth-minute substitute during the FA Cup third-round clash between Liverpool and his new team at Molineux in January 2019.
He went on to appear four times in total for the Reds, scoring one goal – a header against Milton Keynes Dons during last season’s Carabao Cup tie – and collecting medals in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
Now 18, Hoever is set to embark on a new chapter in his career after a switch was agreed with Wolves on Saturday.
Everyone at Liverpool FC thanks Ki-Jana for his contributions to the club and wishes him the best of luck for the future.