Having brought in the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Luis Suarez, Liverpool have made some standout January signings in recent seasons. Players who arrived in January and made an instant impact despite the difficulty of a mid-season switch.
In Luis Diaz, it seems clear that the Reds now have another, with the 25-year-old Colombian winger joining one of the best sides in Europe and appearing from day one as though he might have spent his entire career at Liverpool Football Club.
“The thing you can notice and see the most is the intensity of the game here,” Diaz said, reflecting on his first months in English football. “Tactically how we set up and the fact that I also have to defend might well be the most difficult thing so far.
“I do have that aspect to my game, though, as I spent time playing at Porto and I think that I managed to pick up and learn a lot there while I was there. I will keep on improving here as well but I’m delighted to have settled in the way that I have.”
Manager Jürgen Klopp has already noted part of the reason for Diaz’ instant impact is that Liverpool play a similar style to former club Porto, and Diaz confirmed the manager’s early focus was on allowing him to simply play the way he was used to.
“At the start, I think it was more about [Klopp] telling me what I’ve been doing up to now,” Diaz said of his quick adjustment to life at a new club. “He was trying to put across to me that all it was about was for me to keep doing what I’ve been used to.
“He wanted me to know that I had been performing very well up until now and that I should just try to keep on doing more of the same: to try to play my football with joy and happiness, while obviously incorporating the preferred tactical plans.”
While there has been an increase in focus on Liverpool’s specific team tactics over the months since he moved to England, that has been built on a foundation Diaz was already familiar with—and now his goal is to help make this season special.
“The most important thing for me is to help the team,” the 25-year-old added, “to keep going in the same style that I’ve started, and to keep working hard in training just the same as ever, so I can achieve big things here, which I want the most.”