Liverpool

Luis Diaz is proving to be a masterful signing for Liverpool

Jack Gallagher
Diaz is brilliant
Diaz is brilliant / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
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When a Premier League club signs a footballer, no matter how good they are, no matter what reputation they have, no matter what the transfer fee, there's always an air of scepticism.

The usual questions are asked:

'Can he cut it in the Premier League?'

'Does he fit the system we play?'

'Should the money not have been spent elsewhere in the squad?'

However, when Liverpool sign a player, those questions aren't really asked.

There isn't any scepticism over whether the player can hack the pace of the Premier League, or whether the player fits the system Liverpool play, or if the money should've been spent to fill a hole elsewhere (mainly because there is no real holes in the current Reds squad).

That's because, well, Liverpool have got basically every signing they've made in the last five years right.

- Virgil van Dijk? Check.

- Alisson Becker? Check.

- Diogo Jota? Check.

- Fabinho? Check.

- Mohamed Salah? Considering he's arguably the best footballer in the world, big time 'check'.

It's this hit rate on transfers which meant that when Luis Diaz was signed for £40.5m from Porto during the January window, the footballing world collectively said: 'Ah well he's going to be an amazing signing'.

And that's not due to Liverpool fans watching Diaz play week in, week out for Porto over the last few seasons. Far from it.

Hand on heart, can you honestly say that you watched anything other than a 'Luis Diaz: Welcome to Liverpool - Goals, Assists, Skills From The New Salah'?

Of course you can't.

Yet, despite that, Reds fans knew their club had made a shrewd signing by bringing Diaz to the club.

Lo and behold, as Tuesday night's performance in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals proved, they were right.

Diaz, drafted in for another brilliant recent signing in Jota, was mesmerising on his return to Portugal. Be it taking on his right-back adversary Gilberto - God love him for giving it a go tonight - or bombing infield to exploit space in behind the now very, very old defensive paring of Nicolas Otamendi and Jan Vertonghen, Diaz proved to be too much to handle all evening.

Inside the opening three minutes he had already created a glorious chance for Naby Keita, turning Gilberto inside out before crossing brilliantly into the box. That set the tone for the rest of his evening.

The 25-year-old deservedly bagged himself an assist at the end of the first half, coolly heading a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross-field ball into the path of Sadio Mane in the penalty area.

It said a lot about just how much Jurgen Klopp trusts his new signing when, on the hour mark, Salah and Mane were subbed off while Diaz stayed on the pitch.

He repaid that faith by scoring an all-important third goal for Liverpool in the 88th minute - bursting in behind the Benfica defence before rounding the goalkeeper and side-footing home.

Tuesday night's performance proved that Diaz is set to be a key player for the Reds in their hunt for a quadruple this season, and many more trophies in years to come - particularly if Salah leaves for pastures new in the near future.


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