Who: Luis Diaz
To Where: Liverpool
From Where: FC Porto
For How Much: £49.8m ($66.7m)
Grade For Liverpool: B
Grade for FC Porto: B+
Luis Diaz to Liverpool Overview
After sitting idle all through the winter transfer window, Liverpool have signed a player out of nowhere. The Reds have confirmed the signing of Luis Diaz from FC Porto – buffing up their attack which is depleted with Mo Salah & Sadio Mane playing in the AFCON.
The deal happened in surprisingly quick fashion after the LFC owners realized signing a clinical forward was necessary to push Man City in the Premier League title race. Diaz was one of Porto’s best players so far this season, having scored 14 goals in 18 league appearances!
The left-winger is fast, can dribble with ease & loves cutting in from the left. He’s got all the skills that Jurgen Klopp absolutely loves. Diaz will probably be the alternative to Mane, but could cut in ahead of the winger if able to outperform him. Knowing his exciting style, the Colombian should win over the Kop as long as able to adapt to his new surroundings well.
WHO IS LUIS DIAZ?
Diaz is a 25-year-old Colombian international who has only been playing in Europe for the last 3 years. He started his professional career with Colombian second division side Barranquilla FC in 2016 before moving to first-division side Atletico Junior a year later.
His heroics in Colombia compelled FC Porto to sign him in 2019. He slowly became a first-team regular in the team & had his breakthrough campaign in this season. Diaz scored 19 goals & registered 4 assists in 29 appearances for them this season, including 14 in 18 Liga NOS appearances.
The 25-year-old has also broken through to the international team. He’s made 32 appearances for Colombia in his career, scoring 7 goals.
IS THE PRICE FAIR?
Liverpool have paid about £49.8m ($66.7m) for the winger, including add-ons. Irrespective, it’s still a big fee to pay for a player with no experience of playing in a major European league. The Reds might have overpaid a little bit because of the deal being done so late in the window.
Considering that not a lot is known about Diaz, there’s a mystery factor about him. He could be a hit & miss. But knowing his impressive record this season (he’s even scored 2 goals in 6 UCL games) and exciting ability, it could also prove to be an impressive deal.
WHAT IMPACT SHOULD WE EXPECT?
Let’s get one thing out of the way. Diaz is not likely to become a stonewall regular in the Liverpool team because of his price tag. Jurgen Klopp takes time integrating new signings into the starting XI & probably won’t experiment with changing his trusted front-3 in the current situation.
But Diaz will add more firepower into Liverpool’s attack. He’ll also give Klopp more options to expand his attacking line. The Colombian is a natural left-winger so he should be rotated with Mane in that role. He could even play as a false no.9 if the Reds’ striking options are limited.
Despite his relative ‘inexperience’ at the top level, Diaz possesses a lot of potential. He has a better goal per game ratio than the likes of Mo Salah & Sadio Mane this season, netting one goal every 108 minutes for FC Porto in the Liga NOS.
He was also the second-highest scorer in the league before being signed by the Reds. Boasting impressive stats like 2.2 key passes per game, 2.6 successful dribbles per 90 & 3.6 shots per game (as per WhoScored), he is a lively player who never sits idle in the attack.
Diaz loves taking the game to the opposition, running at defenders with his blistering pace & tricking them with his sweet dribbling. He’s the kind of positive, vibrant winger that should suit Klopp’s heavy-metal, fast-paced attacking style.
There are, of course, doubts about his adaptability to the competitive Premier League. The Liga NOS is not on the same level as the English league. But one example Liverpool can take is by witnessing Bruno Fernandes’ impact at Man United. He also arrived for a significant fee from Sporting Lisbon and had questions around him.
The Portuguese midfielder took little time to blend in & elevate United’s gameplay since arriving. Diaz has the same potential and could take to gain confidence about his chances of impressing in the Premier League.
As an ‘alternative’, he’s a really good prospect to have. Even when Mane is out, Diaz can ensure Liverpool’s performance-levels don’t drop because he retains a similar ruthless style. The Colombian knows how to score goals, can score bangers from far away & is decisive in the final third.
He will give a boost to LFC’s ambitions to challenge for the PL & Champions League titles this season and could be the ‘X-factor’ they need to end the season with some prominent silverware.
What Does Jurgen Klopp Think?
The Liverpool boss is very happy about this signing, saying:
He is an outstanding player and someone we’ve been tracking for a very long time.
We believe he has everything needed to fit into our way and adapt to the Premier League, both physically and mentally. He is a player who is hungry for success and knows you have to fight to get what you want. He is a fighter, no doubt. He’s a skilful team player who has always the goal in mind.
They might have slightly overpaid for him, but Liverpool have an electric player just about to hit his peak. Because of Mane & Salah, there won’t be overbearing pressure on him to immediately excel. That should give Diaz time to adapt to his new surroundings and soon utilize his fiery style to ensure LFC’s performances don’t’ plummet once their star forwards are out.
FC Porto (B+)
Porto will be very happy with the $67m they’ve received for a player they signed for barely $10m. With that money, they’ll be able to sign a replacement & keep the profits. But they’re also losing their season’s top-scorer & biggest attacking asset. That could impact their chances of winning the LIGA Nos and competing for the Europa League, which is why this deal won’t taste as sweet as it should.