Jurgen Klopp has hailed “top bloke” Dominik Szoboszlai after his “grenade” from range helped Liverpool fight back for a 3-1 win over Leicester.
It took Szoboszlai just five minutes from coming off the bench at Anfield to turn the tie on its head, firing in from distance to make it 2-1.
Cody Gakpo had already cancelled out Kasey McAteer’s opener, but the introduction of both Szoboszlai and Darwin Nunez gave Liverpool the impetus to push into the fourth round.
His second goal for the club, the Hungarian’s latest strike was just as good as his first, with Klopp asked if he encouraged his No. 8 to shoot from those positions.
“I don’t have to tell him to shoot, he knows better than me that he has a pretty good skill,” he told reporters after the game.
“The next one, which was slightly over, was another grenade. You can see that.
“In Premier League games, everyone tries to block him, that’s why he hasn’t come through yet.
“But if he comes through, it’s a good chance the ball could be in.
“But super goal. The situation, Wataru passed the ball through and in that moment, there is no midfielder, there is no defender who can then hold him.
“That’s why it’s so important that after winning the ball to try to play the first pass forward, or at least have a forward-orientated idea. That helped there a lot.”
Klopp’s praise of the initiative shown by Wataru Endo in teeing up Szoboszlai was certainly warranted, but it is the £60 million signing who is taking the headlines.
Few new arrivals have taken to the side as quickly as the former Leipzig midfielder, with Klopp enamoured from “the first minute” he joined the squad.
“It’s so long ago that he [joined] that I forgot what I thought when he came,” he continued.
“But since the first minute of training, it was pretty impressive. That’s how it is.
“He’s a top bloke, really, top guy. Easiest step into the team, dressing room-wise. A very naturally confident boy, that helps.
“But [he is also] a super hard worker, that’s what you see.
“Today he came on, had two very difficult situations, he stepped on the first ball, when he defended our counter-attack, lost the ball there, next one I think he lost as well, then from that moment on he was just in the game.
“That’s super important.
“He enjoys it a lot, being here. The people obviously appreciate it as well. It’s a good situation, long may it continue.”