With the January transfer window nearing an end, Liverpool are widely reported to have finally made a move. 25 year old Porto winger Luis Diaz is said to have been a summer target for the club but with Spurs and United sniffing round the player, Ward and Michael Edwards have brought their pursuit forward.

The likes of Neil Jones, James Pearce, David Ornstein, Fabrizio Romano and Paul Joyce have all reported on the potential move this morning. It seems as legit as possible with Neil Jones even going as far as to say a delegation has been sent to Argentina (where the player will be with his national side) to carry out a medical.

Many fans would have heard of Luis Diaz, as we’ve been linked with him for a while. Not a lot know much about the player though, so we take a deep dive into the career he’s had so far, and just what he could offer Jürgen Klopp’s side.

Born on the 13th of January, 1997 in Barrancas, Colombia, Luis Diaz made his first steps into professional football by being included in Colombia’s 22-man squad for the 2015 Copa Americana de Pueblos Indígenas after being spotted by the legendary Carlos Valderrama.

Colombia enjoyed a good tournament, going all the way to the final. Diaz caught the attention of Atletico Junior who signed him in 2016 after a trial period, before immediately loaning him to Colombia second division team Barranquilla FC. Díaz suffered from malnutrition as a youngster and was given a diet plan to gain weight.

He made his senior debut in April 2016, going on to make 42 appearances for the club, netting three goals. He returned to his parent club Atletico Junior in 2017, scoring 4 goals in his debut season. Díaz became a regular starter during the 2018/19 season, ending the campaign with 16 goals in all competitions.

It was a magnificent year for the winger as he was called up to the national team for the very first time. He was part of Carlos Queiroz’ 23-man squad for the 2019 Copa América in Brazil, with the Portuguese tactician a strong influence in Diaz’s next career move.

Clubs in Europe had started to take note of his rise to prominence. The next step had to be chosen carefully, and Diaz waited for the right offer. He refused to join Cardiff City in 2018, and preferred Porto over Zenit St. Petersburg in the summer of 2019.

He knew that the Portuguese giants had groomed numerous Colombian stars in the past, with Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez being the two best examples. On 10th July 2019, the then 22 year old signed for FC Porto on a five-year contract, with the club buying 80% of his economic rights for a fee of €7 million.

Díaz made his Porto debut on in a 1–0 win at Krasnodar in the UCL first qualifying round first leg as a second half substitute, and six days later scored his first goal for the club in the return leg at the Estádio do Dragão as they lost 3-2 to drop down to the Europa League.

Domestically, he scored on his full league debut to wrap up a 4–0 home win against Vitoria F.C. His first season was a success considering it was his first time outside Colombia. He scored 14 goals across all competitions, laying on 7 assists in 50 appearances as Porto won the league.

In the 2020/21 season, he was sent off after 38 minutes in a 2–1 win over Benfica in the Taça de Portugal final. He made his Champions League debut later that season, scoring against Manchester City and Marseille in the group stages. He tallied 11 goals and 6 assists in 47 appearances across all competitions last season.

Diaz was included in Colombia’s squad for the 2021 Copa América. He enjoyed a breakout tournament as Colombia finished 3rd. He scored against Brazil, Argentina and Peru (×2) to finish joint topscorer of the tournament alongside Lionel Messi with 4 goals. He was named in the Team of the tournament and was also named the Revelation of the tournament.

He took confidence from his Copa America exertions into this season with Porto. This has seen his game step up several levels. His output has improved as well, with his tally of 14 league goals at the halfway stage of this season, two more than he managed in the previous two seasons combined.

He has carried that form on to the biggest stage too, with his performances in the Champions League catching the eye. He scored home and away against AC Milan and was Porto’s best player in the two defeats to Liverpool.

Luis Diaz challenging Minamino for the ball

He is currently the topscorer in the Portuguese league with 14 goals in just 18 appearances. He has become a top class left winger for Porto and is riped for another step up in his career. He’s scored 16 goals and provided 6 assists in 28 appearances across all competitions this season.

His performances from the left wing has seen him win the league’s Player of the Month, Forward of the Month and Goal of the month awards for October and November. He’s been courted by Spurs and United and is again choosing his next move carefully.

Luis Díaz in the Primeira Liga this season:

◉ Most goals scored (14)
◉ Most shots (63)
◉ Most shots from open play or fast breaks (57)
◉ Most touches in the opposition’s box (162)

This to go along with 39 chances created and 46 successful dribbles. Impressive stuff. His durability as well is a plus, having made 125 appearances for Porto in just two and a half years.

Diaz is a right footed left winger so is comparable to Sadio Mané in a way. He’s just turned 25 so his best years lie ahead of him. He’s developed into a prolific goalscorer and has the basics to build on and become another Jürgen Klopp success story.

He represents an upgrade on current backup options in Minamino and Origi, and the hope is he’ll have a similar impact to Diogo Jota who signed from Wolves two years ago. With Salah, Firmino and Mané all turning 30 this year, you can see the logic behind signing a younger player with a similar profile to the trio when they initially joined the club.

The advantage in signing him in January instead of next summer is he can spend the next six months settling into life in England whilst still contributing on the pitch. This news has been a boost for the entire fanbase and you can imagine it’ll be same for the team when they return to training.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s