With doubts surrounding the futures of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, the Reds have already started to assemble the next generation

The present is good enough, but Liverpool fans got a glimpse of the future too on Thursday night.

And that looks pretty promising as well.

It is hard to imagine a world without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but in Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, the Reds appear to have found two players around which the next great Jurgen Klopp team can be built.

Impressive? Just a bit.

It was Jotas double which eventually saw off Leicester. Salah may be the go-to man for Liverpool – and he might have had a hat-trick himself on the night – but if he wants a third Premier League Golden Boot, then his biggest challenge may well come from his Portuguese team-mate.

Jota now has 17 goals in all competitions, 12 of them in the league, and so many have been decisive.

This was the 10th time he has scored Liverpool’s first goal in a game this season. His penalty-box prowess, with both feet and with his head, rivals anyone around right now.

“I just want to keep helping the team,” Jota told BT Sport afterwards. He’s certainly doing that.

It’s not only his goals which make him vital to what Klopp is building at Anfield, it’s the whole package; the hunger, the tenacity, the sharpness, the willingness to press and to work and to sacrifice.

There he was, heading a Leicester corner away in the final minute of the 90.

There he was, chasing down a lost cause in stoppage time, forcing Daniel Amartey to clear the ball into touch when he wanted to do anything but. Klopp applauded that more than he did either of Jota’s goals.

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“We knew he was good,” the manager told his post-match press conference. “But now we have no idea where his limit is.”

Diaz, too, looks made to measure for this Liverpool side. It may be early days, but Colombian already looks like he will be a huge hit on Merseyside.

He came on to a standing ovation against Cardiff on Sunday, and he left to one when replaced by Takumi Minamino in the closing stages against Leicester.

He deserved it, too; as Premier League debuts go, this was a fine one, full of promise.

“He enjoyed the game,” smiled Klopp.

Diaz might be disappointed he didn’t cap his performance with a goal – he had at least two decent chances – but he’s certainly made an impression during his first week.

Just like Jota, it’s the package which looks so impressive. Diaz runs, he competes, he links the play and he looks like he will back himself.

He gets himself into good positions on a regular basis, and he looks like a player grateful for the opportunity he has been given.

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What a fearsome prospect Liverpool look right now, then.

Fearsome enough to leave Salah on the bench for the first 57 minutes against Leicester, and to name a squad without any of Mane, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez or Divock Origi in it.

Ibrahima Konate, Kostas Tsimikas, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were all unused substitutes, while Harvey Elliott’s return from injury continued with another bright half-hour cameo.

Options, options, options. Headaches for Klopp, but headaches he will welcome.

No more scratching around for a starting XI, or packing his bench with the untried and the unwanted. Liverpool, for now at least, have quality and experience wherever you look.

They will need all of it in the coming weeks, but also beyond that, as they prepare for the next stage of the team’s evolution under Klopp.

We don’t yet know what the future will hold for Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino. All of them are out of contract in 18 months’ time, and all will have entered their 30s by the time next season rolls around.

Some big calls need to be made, if they haven’t already.

Liverpool still hope to reach an agreement with Salah over an extension, and they should move heaven and earth to do so, but the presence of Jota, and the promise of Diaz, offers plenty of cause for optimism.

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