Jurgen Klopp defends Roberto Firmino after calls for Diogo Jota to replace him

Jurgen Klopp has leapt to Roberto Firmino's defence after calls were made for Diogo Jota to start ahead of him.

The new signing was given a starting spot against Atalanta on Tuesday night after a terrific beginning to life on Merseyside.

And he did not disappoint after scoring a hat-trick to take his season total to seven already.

It saw Liverpool smash their Italian opponents 5-0 to command a healthy position in their Champions League group.

Jota's impact could see him elevate from squad player to regular starter at the expense of Firmino.

The 23-year-old has already outscored the Brazilian in a Liverpool shirt for the entirety of 2020.

And it has led to calls for him to start up top with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, including former Reds defender Stephen Warnock.

He said: ""Jota is hot at the moment. It is very, very hard to leave him out against Manchester City.

"It looks inevitable that will be his forward three but you just never know with Jurgen Klopp."

But Klopp has rubbished those claims and insisted Firmino remains a key part of his team.

“For us it is important that we have more than 11," he said.

"Tonight, Diogo played a super, super game but that says nothing about Bobby, and has nothing to do with me causing headaches.

"I am more than happy that the boys played like they played tonight.

“Good performances never give me a headache.

"But the world is sometimes in a really a bad place, when at the moment somebody is shining, we speak immediately about another player, and I immediately have to explain why he is in the team.

“We would not even be in the Champions League if Bobby Firmino would not be with us.

"He will be in the team and he is one of ours.

"A lot of people in the world ask what makes Liverpool special, I would say Bobby Firmino playing.

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