Premier League • England

Klopp has ‘never had a player’ like Liverpool star, as he warns Inter of two ‘forces of nature’

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool v Cardiff February 2022

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he has never worked with a player with the same love for football as new attacking signing Luis Diaz.

The Colombia international, who arrived at Anfield late on in January, did so after the Reds decisively snapped him up. Tottenham held serious talks over signing him, so Liverpool consequently sprang into action.

Indeed, Diaz was a long-term transfer target for Reds boss Klopp, who had planned a summer move for the former Porto star.

Nevertheless, the 25-year-old has beefed up Liverpool’s squad for the remainder of this season instead.

He did not feature in Sunday’s narrow Premier League win over Burnley. However, he made an instant impact on debut with an assist against Cardiff in the FA Cup.

Diaz also impressed in the 2-0 win over Leicester and Klopp has admitted that he has never worked with a player like the winger.

The manager said: “Luis is a top boy, top-class player. He showed that already in two appearances he had for us now. The last game he didn’t come on.

“It’s like it is for a new player, he has to get used to different things in a team. We have all other players fit and they know exactly what I want from them.

Liverpool face season-defining run of games before international break

Liverpool face season-defining run of games before international break

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp faces a season-defining run of fixtures before the international break at the end of March.

“We give Luis a little bit more time to adapt to it, but he is an incredible player.

“His joy and love of football is so obvious. When you see him training, he cannot stop smiling – I never had a player like this, it’s crazy!

“We are so, so happy to have him here. It’s absolutely great and we expect a lot from him now and in the future. I have a good feeling it will be a really nice story with Luis at Liverpool.”

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Klopp was speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 clash with Inter on Wednesday.

While Diaz – who played against Liverpool in this season’s Champions League group stages for Porto – may sit out the first leg, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will likely start.

The pair also started Sunday’s win over Burnley after both reaching the Africa Cup of Nations final with Senegal and Egypt, respectively. Indeed, Klopp has no fears that they will be ready for Wednesday’s clash.

Klopp’s Liverpool ‘forces of nature’ join Luis Diaz

Liverpool's Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah

“Come on, a week is now no problem. Both boys don’t drink alcohol at all and that’s the major problem you have if you celebrate a big thing,” the manager said.

“That extends the recovery time, they are fit the day after the game. They are both a force of nature, if you want and hopefully it stays forever like this.

“They recover extremely quickly. For Mo, it was only a few days, for Sadio it was a week.

“He had some celebrations in between, but I’m not surprised about that.”

Elsewhere in his press conference, Klopp spoke glowingly of one Inter player he is “really looking forward” to meeting.