There have been two contrasting stories for Liverpool’s marquee summer signings so far.
On one hand, Diogo Jota has started life at Anfield like a man possessed.
The versatile frontman is second behind only Mohamed Salah in the goalscoring stakes, with his nine strikes already firing the Reds to crucial victories in both the Premier League and Champions League.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers star has transitioned seamlessly into the Liverpool team, handling the often intense and overwhelming expectations with minimum fuss.
Inside three months of his career on Merseyside, the £45million man has lit the bonfire for the debate on what constitutes Jurgen Klopp’s best attack.
Considering the scale of that task prior to his mid-September arrival, that is some achievement.
Now a fully-fledged Portuguese international with three goals in his eight caps to date, the forward has this week been speaking about learning from none other than the great Cristiano Ronaldo.
“As Portuguese guys, we always looked upon him as our main reference,” Jota says of Portugal icon, Ronaldo.
That can only be beneficial going forward as he continues to learn his trade at the elite level.
The visit from his former club Wolves this week gives him the ideal chance to write another exciting page to what has been a thrilling opening chapter of his Liverpool story.
Having turned 24 on Friday, Jota is now entering the phase of his career where potential can be realised.
Being just a few months into a five-year contract, Reds fans will be able to witness his golden period as they prepare to return to Anfield for the first time in nine months on Sunday.
On the other hand, Thiago Alcantara remains stuck in the traps with no sign of being released until the New Year at the earliest.
It is perhaps no hyperbole to say the two-time Champions League winner arrived as one of the biggest-name players to have ever joined Liverpool.
The club’s long-established culture of creating stars as opposed to signing them meant that the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona midfielder could lay claim to such an assertion.
Certainly in the Premier League era, at least.
But despite his obvious class, the Spain international remains grounded, unable to make a telling contribution in his fledgling days.
The final whistle at Brighton last Saturday brought about a quiet demotion for Thiago too.
His 135 minutes played so far means he rests at the foot of the table for Liverpool’s entire outfield squad.
That the likes of Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips stand ahead of the 29-year-old in that list nearly three months after he signed tells you a lot about how strange this campaign has been for Klopp and his players.
In total Thiago has sat out a total of 14 games in his two-and-a-half months as a Liverpool player.
Matches against Lincoln City and Arsenal in the Carabao Cup he would have missed had he been fully fit anyway, but it still paints an unflattering picture.
In fairness, there was little Thiago could do to avoid the dangerous, knee-high lunge from Richarlison that has left him on the shelf since October 17.
And even less he could do to steer clear of a coronavirus diagnosis ahead of the now infamous 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa at the start of that same month.
The midfielder did complete the game at Goodison Park but has not been seen since with Klopp recently revealing that he won’t return until 2021.
“The problem is in a situation like that, nothing is ruptured and nothing is broken and that means everybody thinks ‘okay, you can go after a few days’, but the impact on the leg was that big that it is still not okay,” Klopp said.
And while any team would benefit from having Thiago’s gifts at hand, it would not be unfair to say Liverpool haven’t missed him.
Put simply, they haven’t had him in the team long enough to feel the brunt of his absence.
Which brings us to how things might shape up when he eventually does make his comeback at the turn of the year.
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Liverpool, somehow, have continued to lean on their strength of character as they negotiate a crippling injury list that would have derailed most other clubs.
At one point or another, Klopp has been unable to call upon virtually everyone in his squad, with the exception of Andy Robertson and Gini Wijnaldum.
The list of absentees currently stands at nine heading into this weekend’s visit from Wolves, even if Klopp might be hopeful of one or two giving the green light in Friday evening’s training session.
As the Reds continue to wade through the injury minefield with their fingers crossed, a fully fit Thiago could be the perfect boost heading into the second half of the season.
Like a new signing? Perhaps not, but a huge injection of quality into a team already bursting with it.
Klopp’s most recent update has put to bed speculation over where and when we might see Thiago next. For now, at least.
Now the challenge for the player is to simply get himself back to 100 per cent as quickly as possible.
He will still have a sizable say on what happens with Liverpool’s chase for honours.