Nearly all football media outlets, from major broadcasters and newspapers to fan-run blogs, have gushed about the brilliance of Luis Díaz from the very first time he appeared with the LFC logo on his chest. Every time he takes the pitch we are treated to a dazzling display of pressing and attacking that is then followed by another round of love for the Colombian forward from all corners of the footballing world.
Managers, former players, and Díaz’s new teammates have all joined in praising how quickly the 25-year-old has settled in and become a game-changer. Speaking with Youtuber Laurence McKenna, courtesy of LFC brand partner Sonos, defender Joe Gomez became the latest Red to applaud the winger’s impressive start to his LFC career.
“I think he’s a top, top player,” Gomez said. “I think one of the biggest things is, as a team, the manager has instilled a philosophy to play with a high intensity and to press well.”
That is, perhaps the biggest reason Díaz has settled in so quickly; his willingness to press high up the pitch and harry defenders when they’re in possession. Pressing from the front is a key part of manager Jürgen Klopp’s style and LFC’s identity under the German manager. So, buying into that philosophy and proving he’s up to the task has been vital to the Colombian’s early success.
It’s important though to not let his pressing ability without the ball overshadow Díaz’s skills with the ball. He’s already shown the attacking threat he provides, contributing three goals and an assist in his first 15 Liverpool appearances, and Gomez sees the problems he creates for opposing fullbacks.
“To come in the way he has, his quality on the ball speaks for itself,” said Gomez. “He’s so direct and he’s a nightmare for fullbacks, it’s not as common nowadays to have a direct winger that wants to take you on. I know playing full back what it feels like, it’s uncomfortable.
“Then on the other side, to come in and tactically understand the philosophy and to press with such tenacity. The way he plays, I think he couldn’t have gelled any better. I don’t think he could be much happier with how he’s settled in.”
Díaz has truly been remarkable since his January signing, and the achievements of his first few months are even more impressive when considering that nobody expected anything close to what he’s done so far. Liverpool already had four strong options for their front three, and with Klopp being famous for preferring to work new singings in slowly, nobody would have foreseen that Díaz would be earning starts in his first few weeks.
Then, throw in the fact that he arrived in Liverpool knowing virtually no English, and it’s simply incredible what he’s already been able to achieve. It’s hard to not salivate thinking about what he’ll be able to do as he grows even more comfortable in his new home. The future looks very bright indeed for Luis Díaz.