It looks as if Liverpool will finally make another big-name signing, with Luis Diaz seemingly on the precipice of signing for Jurgen Klopp’s side from Porto.
The Colombian is in electric form this season.
His mazy runs show the footwork of a seasoned Latin American dancer, his visceral passion on the pitch has all the fervour of a Colombian Bullfighter, and the power in his shots are enough to make even Klopp blush.
It is easy to see why Diaz is so craved by Liverpool, the perfect addition to Klopp’s heavy metal football choir.
This season has seen the 25-year-old become Porto’s talismanic attacker, powering the side to the top of the Primera Liga.
Antonio Conte and Tottenham moved first, trying to tempt the Colombian to North London to be part of Conte’s rebuild. But Spurs’ bid was rejected and Liverpool, often reluctant to spend, have seemingly decided to make a move for the winger.
Reports suggest they had planned to approach Porto in the summer, but Spurs’ interest has prompted the Merseyside club to act now.
Liverpool’s bid stands at a rumoured €40million upfront with €20million in ‘easy’ add-ons and a further €5million in harder ones.
So here are seven stats that show just how good a season the Colombian is having and why Liverpool hope to have found themselves hero for the Kop.
– Diaz has 14 goals and 5 assists this season in the Portuguese League alone, a combined goal contribution of 19. Only nine players in Europe’s major leagues have more combined goals and assists, with Mohamed Salah the only Premier League player to have registered more (25).
– His 14 league goals make him the second-highest goalscorer in the Portuguese Primeira Liga despite being a winger. Only Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, who is a striker, has scored more and is only one ahead of Diaz with 15. Yet Diaz tops the chart for non-penalty goals with none of his 14 taken from the spot. He has also already outscored his previous best goalscoring season in the league (six) by over double.
– Dribbling is a major part of Diaz’s game and there are few better at it. His 2.91 dribbles completed per 90 sits him in the 92nd percentile across Europe’s top 5 leagues compared to other wingers. He has a dribble success rate of 63% (stats from FBref).
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– Diaz has scored three headers this season and is impressive in the air, winning an average of 1.01 aerial duels a match – considerably above average for a player in his position.
– The Colombian winger averages 1.08 goal or assist per 90 in the league, which means he has a direct role in a goal at least once a match. That is considerably better than the 0.88 Bruno Fernandes had in the 2019-20 season before he joined Manchester United. It is also better than Sadio Mane’s 0.47 and Diogo Jota’s 0.64, but doesn’t quite match Salah’s incredible 1.26.
– In addition to his league goals, Diaz has scored twice in the Champions League this season, in each of the two matches against AC Milan, including the winner in Porto. In total, he has scored 16 goals in all competitions across 28 matches.
– His stats at last year’s Copa America are also impressive. He helped Colombia finish third, ending as joint top goalscorer with Messi with four. He had the best minutes per goal stat, with 92, and the second-highest successful dribbles per match with 5.2.