Luis Diaz and his instant adaptation to Liverpool is a “lesson for everybody” in top football recruitment, according to former manager Alex McLeish.
The Colombia international signed for the Reds in January following a transfer battle with Tottenham and West Ham. Spurs were in pole position for him at one stage, while West Ham boss David Moyes also had a phone call with him.
However, Liverpool then swooped in to great effect to snap Diaz up. They originally intended to sign him this summer and had made him a top target for the upcoming window.
Nevertheless, his earlier-than-anticipated arrival has only benefitted Jurgen Klopp’s team.
Diaz has scored four goals and assisted two others for Liverpool so far. Indeed, his best performance came when he found the net and an assist in the Champions League quarter-final away at Benfica.
According to former Premier League boss McLeish, the transfer by Klopp and Liverpool is a perfect example of football recruitment.
“Diaz just shows you how thorough they are with recruitment. That is a lesson for everybody,” the 63-year-old told Football Insider.
“Bringing Diaz into the club, the impact he’s already made, he’s hit the ground running, that kid. He’s only going to get better. That is a lesson for everybody in the art of recruitment.”
Diaz has also slotted in well alongside established Liverpool forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
“I just believe these three can play anywhere up there and turn it into a centre-forward situation,” McLeish added.
“They exchange their positions and they rotate brilliantly, they are very au fait with each other. One understands the other. If one’s in his position, he will go into the other position. It’s not rocket science but it’s very, very effective.
“When you’ve got players at that level of speed and first touch, their touches are amazing.
“Mane has been absolutely fantastic for Liverpool over the years. Salah’s become, probably, the number one in the world.
“Diaz has slotted in exceptionally well with these two great, experienced players.”
Diaz helping Liverpool quadruple charge
Liverpool have enjoyed the form of Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino for some time.
However, they faced criticism in the past for their lack of depth up front compared to the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.
Alongside Diogo Jota, though, Diaz has added a significant new dimension to Liverpool’s attack.
He plays on the left wing, where Mane used to play, which has allowed the Senegal star to flourish in a newfound role down the middle.
What’s more, the players who used to be in and around the first team as cover are now well on the fringes.
Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi and Harvey Elliott are all struggling for game time due to Klopp’s newfound depth. However, Klopp has assured that everyone will get their chance as Liverpool aim for a quadruple of trophies.