Premier League • England

Liverpool star ‘like a £100m signing’, as former Reds striker reveals ‘love’ for enthralling forward

Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, Liverpool

Liverpool duo Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota

Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has lavished praise on Luis Diaz, revealing how he ‘loves’ watching the winger play and labelling his impact ‘like a £100million signing’.

Diaz was linked with several Premier League clubs during his great spell at Porto, including Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. However, it was Liverpool who won the race for his services as they paid Porto an initial £37million to take him to Anfield. The deal had the potential to rise to £49m through add-ons.

After joining midway through the 2021-22 campaign, Diaz had an immediate impact for Liverpool. He started the following season brightly too, only to be ruled out for over five months with a knee injury.

The wide man, who likes to operate on the left flank, struggled to get back to his best towards the end of last season when he returned to the side.

However, he has started well this term, showing off his usual trickery as well as scoring in his first two Premier League appearances, plus his first Europa League outing.

Diaz caused Everton full-back Ashley Young all sorts of problems during the Merseyside derby on Saturday, with the Toffees man ultimately getting sent off after bringing Diaz down twice.

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After the match, which Jurgen Klopp’s men won 2-0, Crouch hailed the Colombian.

“I love Diaz,” he said on TNT Sports (via Rousing the Kop). “He’s been like a new signing, like bringing another £100m player in, because obviously his injuries last season. Him coming in just changes things.”

Luis Diaz back helping Liverpool tick

Diaz has started each of Liverpool’s last four league games, and he will look to continue making the left-wing position his own. The best way for him to do this is by adding to his goal tally, with his last strike coming on September 21.

Klopp can also utilise Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo on the left side, but there is a strong argument that Diaz torments opposition right-backs more than those two players, which warrants him starting most big matches.

Liverpool will also need the 26-year-old to step up and become one of their most efficient attackers if right winger Mo Salah departs. The Egyptian was the subject of a huge £150m bid in the summer, but Al Ittihad saw this get rejected by Liverpool.

Saudi Pro League officials remain determined to sign Salah though, and this could see Al Ittihad return with another massive offer in summer 2024.

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano has reacted to claims Liverpool have reached an agreement to sign a world-class striker.