Pep Lijnders reveals Liverpool's scouting report on Luis Diaz

1 week ago

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has opened up on a trip he took to watch Luis Diaz at Porto shortly prior to his move to Anfield, while the Dutchman also revealed Jurgen Klopp's early assessment of the winger.

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Diaz left Porto back in January and it looked as if he would be joining Tottenham, only for Liverpool to swoop in at the 11th hour to sign the Colombian instead.

The 25-year-old proved to be an inspired signing and he became one of the Reds' key players for the remainder of the season. In Lijnders's new book, 'Intensity: Inside Liverpool FC - Our Identity', he revealed that he personally went to watch Diaz three weeks prior to his eventual transfer.

The match Lijnders attended saw Porto come from 2-0 down against Estoril to win 3-2, with Diaz playing a crucial role in the comeback. He grabbed the equaliser before assisting an 89th minute winner.

Lijnders took notes on Diaz's performance, and some of his observations were recorded in the book.

"While preparing pressing, he reads where the next pass goes to intercept, runs with all he has in these moments," Lijnders wrote.

“He smells these chances to intercept close to the opposition goal. Never stops. Wants to defend forward. Love that.

"[Diaz's] counter-press impulse will improve easily within our style and training. Will become more intense with this. More aggressive with this.

Lijnders added: "[He] needs to add idea to attack through the centre as well, more active to attack through inside. This will give him more striker movements as well, with this more goals.

"Can dribble, goes easily, outplay/slides left and right passing the defenders. In a small space with full speed tries to find the better option to pass."

Lijnders then took this report to Klopp, who said that Diaz "is a game changer." His €45m transfer was confirmed soon after.

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