Liverpool fans couldn’t have anticipated just how near-perfectly Luis Diaz would slot into life in the English top-flight with Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Speaking about the Colombian international in his new book, Intensity, the German’s No.2, Pep Lijnders, was absolutely convinced by the abilities of the 25-year-old, describing him as ‘by far the best player’ at FC Porto at the time.
“Counter-press impulse will improve easily within our style and training. Will become more intense with this. More aggressive with this,” the Dutchman wrote, as shared online by the club’s official website.
“By FAR the best player. I HAVE NO DOUBT…’
“Jürgen responded to this report with: “He is a game-changer.”
“I texted back: “Absolutely, literally for them and figuratively for us.” We hoped we could get the deal done.”
Given that the Primeira Liga-based outfit went on to win the Portuguese top-flight, that’s quite the compliment for the man Tottenham came close to signing in the winter window before the Reds gazumped their league rivals to the transfer.
The understanding, or rather the expectation, is that the left-sided winger will be an even more formidable presence for us now that he’s gleaned a better understanding of the tactical demands set by Klopp, Lijnders and Co.
There’s still a sense that the winger has some work to do on his finishing capabilities this term, though we’d be far from surprised to see the wide man improve on his tally of 22 goals in 54 games (in all competitions with Liverpool and FC Porto).