Pep Lijnders wrote a book about his time with the club, the clunkily titled Intensity: Inside Liverpool FC - Our Identity. The Liverpool ECHO has been teasing some of the more interesting tidbits ahead of its release date.
One such interesting tale is the story of how Luis Diaz ended up on a plane to Merseyside instead of London this past January. Longtime Tottenham target Diaz was tipped to be heading to join Spurs for the second half of last season until Liverpool pulled off a surprise sweep into the fray to get the player instead.
According to Lijnders, it came down to a group phone call between him Diaz, and Jürgen Klopp to sway him. Though because it was, after all, wintertime, the call came at the expense of a skiing trip .
“I was on a skiing trip with my wife Danielle when, during dinner, our sporting director called me,” said Lijnders. “‘You and Jurgen have to speak with Luis Diaz in five minutes. We’ve just agreed with Porto but Tottenham are all-in as well.’”
The bait cast by the men, according to Lijnders was the chance to join a team pushing to win titles and the opportunity to train with some of the best defenders in the world.
“I told him: ‘We want you desperately and have been pushing for the last one-and-a-half months with our owners and our sporting director, but you know that these kinds of transfers are not easy to accomplish. The good thing is you will train with Virgil, Robbo and Trent and they will make you so much stronger. Our idea is to create and score; you will have to tear these guys apart each day in training, which will make you better’.”
Diaz spent his short time with the club so far living up to the faith Lijnders and the others had in his abilities.
Lijnders’ book goes on sale on August 4th on the official site.