‘Safety net’: Paul Merson gives verdict on new Liverpool FC signing Luis Diaz
Paul Merson runs the rule over Liverpool FC's new signing Luis Diaz following his January transfer
Paul Merson has described Liverpool FC’s signing of Luis Diaz from FC Porto as an “excellent piece of business”.
The Reds completed a deal to sign the Colombia international in the January transfer window in order to avoid losing out on landing the FC Porto striker to one of their domestic rivals.
Liverpool FC are reported to have paid an initial transfer fee of £37.5m for Diaz but the Colombian’s price tag could rise to £50m.
Diaz put pen to paper on a long-term deal with Liverpool FC after Tottenham Hotspur had entered the race to sign the FC Porto striker earlier in the January transfer window.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have 18 months left to run on their current deals at Liverpool FC to raise question marks about their long-term futures at Anfield.
Diaz will be competing with Mane, Salah, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino for a spot in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI.
Former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes Diaz is an excellent addition to the Liverpool FC side and leave the Reds under less pressure to resolve Salah’s contract situation.
“This is an excellent piece of business by Liverpool,” Merson told Sportskeeda.
“They’ve managed to get everything sorted in case Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah don’t agree on a contract. I’m hoping neither player leaves and Liverpool will want to keep both of them, but Luis Diaz is a nice safety net to have.
“Had Liverpool not signed Diaz, they could’ve been in a spot of bother at the end of the season. If Mane and Salah had gone for massive amounts with no viable replacement, anybody they go after would’ve come only at a hefty price. Liverpool have saved those extra digits at the end of Luis Diaz’s transfer fee by signing him in January.
“Luis Diaz ticks all the boxes for Liverpool. He’s a good player with pace in abundance, but he’s unlikely to start ahead of the likes of Salah, Mane, and Jota in the Premier League at the moment. Liverpool’s style of play demands that their forwards work very hard, so it certainly won’t hurt to have a quality addition like Diaz in the squad.”
Diaz scored 14 times and made four assists in 18 appearances in the Portuguese top flight this season before his move to Liverpool FC.
The 25-year-old has netted 41 times in 141 games in all competitions during the past two and a half seasons at FC Porto.
Former Liverpool FC defender Carragher gave his verdict on Diaz after the striker was handed the ex-defender’s old shirt number at Anfield.
Carragher wrote on Twitter: “Number 23! @LuisFDiaz19 must be very good!!”
Liverpool FC will face Cardiff City in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.