- Portuguese went a year without club goal
- Changed his footwear along the way
- Finished last season with a flourish
WHAT HAPPENED? The Portugal international had to wait until April 17 before opening his account last season, with said effort coming a little over 12 months since his last for the Reds. The floodgates opened for Jota once he was back in the groove, with the target found on seven occasions through nine appearances. The 26-year-old insists that he is not the superstitious type, but agrees that a new pair of adidas X Speedportal boots appear to have made a difference.
WHAT THEY SAID: Jota has told FourFourTwo of getting his mojo back while donning fresh footwear: “I never scored with the previous boots and it’s a psychological thing if you’re a striker – ‘maybe it’s the boots I need to change’. Then you score and everything feels fine. They’re just tools, but when you look at them, they give you different feelings.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Jota added when asked if he has any specific routines and rituals that he likes to complete before games: “I try not to, because it gives you a lot of work to have everything always the same. Then, if one of those things doesn’t happen for whatever reason, you’re already 1-0 down. But if the boots feel nice and you’re scoring... I remember Karim Benzema wearing the same ones – it’s hard to argue when you’re scoring.”
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Jota opened his account for 2022-23 when bagging a brace against Leeds, before netting another double in a home date with Nottingham Forest. He was also on target in a dramatic win over Tottenham and a 4-4 draw with Southampton – with the hope being that he can carry that form into next season.