Premier League • England

Klopp hails Diaz ‘miracle’ as pre-deal analysis ‘specifically predicted’ instant bond with Liverpool trio

Luis Diaz, Alexis Mac Allister Brighton v Liverpool March 2022

Luis Diaz is close to performing miracles at Liverpool following his instant impact at Anfield, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds had identified the Colombia international as a firm summer transfer target. As a result, when Tottenham and West Ham came close to signing him in January, Liverpool swooped in.

And Diaz – unlike some of Klopp’s other signings – has made an instant impact and muscled his way into the Liverpool front line.

Indeed, he has scored two Premier League goals and his work off the ball – equally as vital at Liverpool – has proved impressive.

Klopp has regularly hailed Diaz’s impact since his arrival at Anfield and has done so again in an interview with Sky Sports.

The manager said: “You don’t expect miracles immediately from these kind of players. But he is not far away from doing exactly that. Long may it continue.”

“There is a reason why you sign a player. The reason is the quality that he has. The reason is the way that he is playing the game.”

Diaz endured a hectic end to January – not just because of the transfer interest in him. Indeed, a Liverpool contingent flew out to South America to complete the deal while their new signing was on international duty.

Klopp had no Luis Diaz doubts

Luis Diaz, Liverpool training March 2022

Nevertheless, Klopp added that he did not fear the short turnaround hampering Diaz. The manager believed he was perfect for the Reds.

“With Luis, where it has been really special is that when we saw him we knew that he would fit in immediately,” he said. “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.

“But what we tried to make sure is that he does not lose that because of the playbook as we tell him that he has to do this and he has to do that. We want him to be natural.”

Meanwhile, the product manager of sports performance analytics product AI Abacus revealed how modelling before the transfer took place predicted a fantastic outcome for Liverpool.

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Andy Forrester said: “Just before he moved to Liverpool, our models suggested that Diaz should theoretically hit the ground running, largely due to the similarities of playing styles between Liverpool and Porto.

“In terms of tempo, high press, counter-press, defensive line and build up, the two teams are almost identical,

“We simulated targets that Liverpool had been linked with and Diaz came out as the clear winner in having the highest predicted chemistry with the Liverpool squad.

“It specifically predicted he would link up well with Andy Robertson, Diogo Jota and Harvey Elliot.”

Liverpool front line firing

Robertson and Jota have linked up well on the left. The winger has also formed a strong early relationship with Jota.

However, Elliott has remained on the fringes of the Liverpool attack since returning from his ankle injury.

The pair replaced each other in Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final win over Nottingham Forest.

Nevertheless, Diaz has added a crucial new dimension to Liverpool’s attack which is spurring them on.

The Reds are the highest scorers in the Premier League this season. And their new signing is looking to chip in with more before the end of his first half-season.