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In Focus: Dazzling Diaz is heading right to the top at Kop
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Matthew Storey
Luis Diaz has netted three times in four games for Liverpool this season
Luis Diaz has netted three times in four games for Liverpool this season

Even during Liverpool’s disappointing opening three games of the season, Luis Diaz was a rare shining light.

And then in the Reds' 9-0 thumping of Bournemouth, he scored the first and last goals with two powerful headers.

Diaz, 25, has only been at Anfield for eight months but he has already established himself as one of Jurgen Klopp’s trusted lieutenants. 

Ahead of tonight's home clash with Newcastle, we turn the spotlight on the Colombian winger.

Loving Liverpool life

It is safe to say that Diaz feels right at home on Merseyside already.

He said: "The fans, I've felt from the very outset there's this strong passion, respect and love for me. I felt it straight away. I can feel they are the greatest fans out there."

And that is why at the start of his first full season as a Red, the ex-Porto man has hit the ground running.

Diaz said: "Personally, I feel very good. I've had a good start. My own performances I'm happy with, I feel great and I've had a very successful arrival.

"I'm very happy to contribute my grain of sand to the entirety of the team. We all need to be contributing in that way.

"I'm very happy to be here at this great club, with some outstanding players, and it's a very professional set-up that I've experienced."

Strong start

Luis Diaz has already found the back of the net three times in the Premier League
Luis Diaz has already found the back of the net three times in the Premier League

Diaz looked the most likely to make something happen as Liverpool struggled in draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace before falling to defeat at Manchester United.

He had a goal ruled out on opening day at Fulham before thundering in an effort from long range to pull the Reds level following Darwin Nunez’s sending off against the Eagles.

And despite Roberto Firmino’s hat-trick and two assists against the Cherries, Diaz was another player who caught the eye with two headed strikes.

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson said: "He is all over the place, absolutely all over the place. Sometimes he is unplayable.

"You don’t know what to do. You don’t know whether to follow him up the pitch, do you stick, do you stay."

He is stepping up to the plate after Mane’s departure to Bayern Munich.

New tricks

The manner of Diaz’s two goals against Bournemouth will have pleased Klopp more than anything.

With Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold on each flank, Liverpool put plenty of crosses into the box.

Diaz’s predecessor on the left wing Mane was deceptively good in the air.

If the Colombian can add that to his game — and the way he attacked the ball for his two goals on Saturday gives every indication that he can — he will be an even scarier threat.

Scary talent

Luis Diaz's rises highest to head home against Bournemouth
Luis Diaz's rises highest to head home against Bournemouth

Diaz scored four goals in 13 league games after signing in January and Klopp has talked about him netting 15 this season.

With three already, he should be looking to surpass that and there is little doubting he is a scary talent.

Earlier this month, Klopp said: "It's his quality, his talent, his skill set. He's a really good player. We knew it before and when you're really good it's easier to settle in.

"He has this special thing. He can score from outside the box, which for a striker is really important. He's very, very important for us."

And 19-year-old midfielder Conor Bradley, who came up against Diaz in training before heading out on loan to Bolton, was quick to pick him out as one of the "world-class" players at Liverpool.

He said: "You’re playing against some world-class players day in, day out. Luis Diaz is just electric. You can just never guess which way he’s going to go.

"He can go both ways and always has a bit of magic up his sleeve."

Newcastle joy

The visit of Newcastle tonight could prove the perfect opportunity for Diaz to continue his red-hot form.

Last year, he had a shot every 20.5 minutes at home compared to every 47 away, while he created a chance every 42 minutes at Anfield and did so just once every 66 minutes on the road.

On top of that, Kieran Trippier is a doubt for Eddie Howe's side.

The England defender has been exceptional for the Magpies and Javier Manquillio may be forced to deputise.

A good player in his own right, coming up against an in-form Diaz on your first start of the campaign is no easy task for Manquillo.

The diminutive Colombian will be licking his lips at the prospect of dazzling under the Stanley Park lights again.


Premier LeagueLiverpoolLuis Diaz
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