When Luis Diaz was linked with Liverpool with a rumoured price tag of £80M, the idea of the Reds making him their record signing—and in January, no less—seemed had to believe. In retrospect, it might not have been too much.
His fee turned out to be less than half that, making his performances since joining the Reds even more noteworthy. Even so, the truth is that nobody, probably including Jürgen Klopp even, will have expected him to be this good this soon.
“Every coach would say the same about a January signing,” Klopp said. “You do it, but if you could you would do it in the summer. With Luis, where it has been really special is that when we saw him we knew that he would fit in immediately.
“That is really difficult usually but because he did not have to change, that is why we have a really confident boy here. He was in a really good moment with Porto, playing good for Colombia, and so he came here full of confidence.”
Any adjustment for Diaz has been helped by having moved from a club that plays a similar style as Liverpool, with the tactical demands placed on Porto’s forwards much the same—albeit at a lower level—as what are asked of Liverpool’s.
That similarity allowed the player to integrate with his teammates despite the change of leagues and any language barriers, leading to solid early performances on the pitch that then only further fuelled the forward’s confidence.
“It was clear from the first moment that we saw him that he would be a player who could play immediately if he could deal mentally with it,” Klopp added. “Because I cannot take the pressure he feels completely off him if he feels it.
“I do not speak Spanish and he does not speak English [but] we have a lot of people who are in constant talks with him. It will take time. He is at a new club but he is obviously pretty natural here. That is why he plays the way that he plays.”