Liverpool

Liverpool

Premier League • England

Former Manchester United legend hails Luis Diaz as ‘signing of the season’

Liverpool winger Luis Diaz frustrated against Villarreal in the Champions League

Rio Ferdinand has hailed Liverpool player Luis Diaz as the signing of the season due to the “breath of fresh air” he has brought to the team.

Luis Diaz signed for Liverpool from Porto in the January transfer window for £37million with the fee potentially rising to £49million. The Reds moved swiftly to obtain the Colombian as they managed to hijack a deal from Tottenham.

He is rumoured to have signed a five-and-a-half year deal and is reportedly only earning around £56,000-per-week. If this is true it makes the deal even sweeter for Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Diaz has had a great impact since joining the side. He has managed to contribute to five goals so far during the Premier League campaign.

Liverpool are on the cusp of the unthinkable with the quadruple currently looming over the heads of the team. Klopp’s men are only one point behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race; they are also in an advantageous position ahead of tonight’s second-leg Champions League semi-final against Villareal.

In the first leg of the semi-final, Diaz started and played 81 minutes. According to SofaScore, the Colombia international garnered an average rating of 7.3 and made two key passes throughout the match.

Diaz’s performances have gotten fans, pundits and players talking about the skills he possesses. Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has even compared his addition to that of Jari Litmanen in 2001.

“Jari Litmanen was a world-class addition to our forward line in the January transfer window 21 years ago, enabling [Gerard] Houllier to rotate four high class centre-forwards from one game to the next,” said Carragher, talking to The Telegraph recently.

“Without the Diaz signing, Liverpool would not still be pursuing another three trophies. He has been fantastic, allowing Klopp to win more matches from the bench, as was the case against Everton,” he added.

Ferdinand on the positive impact Luis Diaz has had

Pundit Rio Ferdinand

Diaz’s talent has also been lauded by former Manchester United captain, Rio Ferdinand, who has said the Colombia international is “like a trigger”.

“Luis Diaz, the impact he’s had at Liverpool, and especially in the front areas,” he said on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE.

“We were saying before he came, if one or two of them get injured up front, they’re going to be losing. The quality drops down dramatically.”

Manchester United should have moved for Luis Diaz

Gary Neville can’t believe Manchester United didn’t approach Luis Diaz before Liverpool

For the last few seasons, Liverpool have had a dynamic trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Since the signings of both Diogo Jota and Diaz however, the three have been chopped and changed. And Ferdinand reckons Diaz should be starting.

“When he starts, he’s probably vying now to be in the first three,” Ferdinand added.

“Like, Firmino would struggle to get in there. He probably gets in ahead of Jota now as if they’re putting their best team in a Champions League final.

“That’s how much of an impact he’s made since he’s come. He has just been a breath of fresh air.

“You watch him play, on the ball he’s brilliant. But his reaction when they lose the ball is unreal.

“He’s like a trigger, bang, go go and get it back. For those reasons, he’s the standout signing of the season for me.”

Liverpool will take on Villareal on Tuesday night in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final where they lead 2-0 on aggregate.

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