Luis Diaz: The Colombian Wizard Who Liverpool and Most Of Europe Are Watching

Diaz has had a meteoric rise in life after a difficult start to life in his homeland
07:55, 08 Jan 2022

Luis Diaz is a name that keeps cropping up whenever a transfer window is open and Liverpool are concerned. With several key squad members away on African Cup of Nations duty, manager Jurgen Klopp may dip into the transfer market to cover the absences while also building the long-term future of the side.

For many the frequently-linked Diaz will be an enigma in terms of who he is and what he has achieved and why Klopp may have interest in bringing him to Anfield.

Diaz is a 24-year-old Colombian winger who currently plays his trade at Porto and recently shone at last year’s Copa America as well as this season’s Champions League, in which he featured against the Reds. But the Colombian is very fortunate to be where he is now considering where he grew up. Not only did he grow up in an impoverished region of South America, but he was very lucky to have made it through his childhood. He is a member of the Wayuu, the largest indigenous community in Colombia and nearly 5,000 children of the Wayuu community died from malnutrition between 2006 and 2008 and the humanitarian crisis there still persists.

His footballing breakthrough came in 2015 when he was called up to represent his country at the Copa America of Indigenous People, and it was the first time he had ever left Colombia. The coaches thought he would struggle due to his malnutrition problems, but he still managed to impress and make the cut. A year later he joined Atletico Junior but was immediately loaned out to Barranquilla where he was put on a diet plan to gain 10kg. He would even be tasked with having pasta for his breakfast. When he returned, he spent three years at Atletico before a €7million move to Porto in 2019. In his first campaign in Portugal, he made 34 starts, scoring 14 times and registering three assists.

This season he has 13 goals to his name in 20 matches, which is why he is on the radar of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Not to mention him having featured 31 times for his national team, which included an impressive display in the most recent Copa America in which he scored against Brazil (a sensational bicycle kick) and Argentina.

He was rightly dubbed the ‘Revelation of the Tournament’ and he is proving to be the sort of player that could not only perhaps come in and cover for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane this month, but be their long-term replacement down the line. Diaz predominantly plays on the left but is right-footed and he very much prefers to keep wide than drift inside. He is quick with the ball at his feet and loves to cut inside on his right which always causes problems for defenders as they don’t know if he will work his way inside and shoot or slip the ball to the overlapping full-back that he has created space for.

Diaz is undeniably a talented footballer, and it is fair to see why so many of Europe’s elite are keeping a watchful eye over him. Liverpool are the club that are surrounded by most of the whispers that suggest his next career move, but if they don’t sign him this window they may need to be careful. A player of his quality will soon be snapped up by a domestic or European rival, and if it isn’t this month, it will very likely be in the summer. And while Klopp has the great Salah and Mane leading his line on Merseyside for now, the duo both turn 30 this year and he will need to start planning for the next generation.

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