Pep Lijnders has shared part of his Luis Diaz scouting report that suitably impressed Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool boss saw a ‘game-changer’.
Luis Diaz arrived at Anfield with a bang last season, immediately making an impression that forced his way into Liverpool’s starting XI. No one really saw that coming, however.
The feeling was that Diaz would arrive as a wonderful squad option. After all, he’d have to push past two of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota to get into the side. That’s supposed to have been one of football’s toughest tasks.
And yet Diaz did it. He started the Champions League final, in fact, after a magnificent first few months. Now, that certainly surprised us but it possibly didn’t surprise the coaches.
Luis Diaz scouting report
Pep Lijnders has been revealing excerpts from his new book, Intensity, this week. Liverpoolfc.com has posted one of those excerpts and it details the scouting report that Lijnders did on Diaz.
He watched a lot of Diaz last season, with his final report coming on the back of FC Porto playing away at Estoril. It’s safe to say that Lijnders was impressed – this is how he ends the excerpt.
“‘Counter-press impulse will improve easily within our style and training,” writes Lijnders. “Will become more intense with this. More aggressive with this. By FAR the best player. I HAVE NO DOUBT…’
“Jürgen responded to this report with: “He is a game-changer.” I texted back: “Absolutely, literally for them and figuratively for us.” We hoped we could get the deal done.”
They were both correct, of course. Diaz arrived with style and looked like a perfect fit from day one. His early data was truly outstanding, in fact.
Diaz was such a game-changer that he immediately gave Liverpool a Mané replacement on the left flank. We weren’t sure that was even possible, such were the Senegal star’s standards. The Colombian did it, though.
And honestly, he should only get better from here.