March 3, 2024
Luis Diaz

Luis Diaz

Luis Diaz hasn’t played Premier League football in nearly six months due to a knee injury and will miss Liverpool’s match against Arsenal on Sunday

Long-term injuries are difficult to deal with, especially when you’re at the top of your game.

Luis Diaz understands how that feels as he approaches the six-month anniversary of his most recent Premier League appearance. The Colombia international, 26, suffered a serious knee injury the last time Liverpool played Arsenal and is unlikely to be fit for the return match at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

Luis Diaz
Luis Diaz

With the Reds slipping down the table, Diaz has almost become the forgotten man on Merseyside. Last year’s Champions League finalists are eighth and will most likely miss out on Europe’s premier competition next season. There has even been speculation that Diaz will leave Liverpool, but Jurgen Klopp’s comments on Friday suggest that the player has a future.

“The plan with Luis is for him to be 100 percent available for Leeds [on April 17],” Klopp told reporters. “Again, it appears to be in good condition. Everything is fine, but it was a long, long injury, and we must proceed with caution. We are unlikely to include him on Sunday.”

Klopp is well aware of Diaz’s ability when he is at his best. He joined Liverpool from Porto in January 2022 and made an immediate impact, taking Roberto Firmino’s starting spot and leading Liverpool’s Quadruple charge. Last season, they won the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, as well as finishing runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League.

Luis Diaz
Luis Diaz

Despite his modest stats (four goals and three assists in 13 Premier League games last season), Diaz’s influence is palpable. Trent Alexander-Arnold will look to play those trademark diagonal balls into Diaz’s feet with him as a focal point. His presence also allowed Sadio Mane to be more effective as a centre-forward prior to his move to Bayern Munich last summer.

Diaz’s speed, quick feet, and ball skills are all valuable assets, but it is his ability to read the game that is truly compelling. His link-up play benefits those around him, and he clearly fits in Klopp’s system. Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, and Darwin Nunez are all good players, but Diaz is the attacking threat that Liverpool desperately needs.

That’s why rumors of a surprise departure came as a surprise. In February, Italian media reported that Liverpool were considering a bid for AC Milan star Rafael Leao, with Diaz going the other way.

Luis Diaz
Luis Diaz

There is also talk of relocating to Spain. In November, Diaz told Colombian outlet SoHo, “I would like to play for a Spanish club that has always piqued my family’s interest, but it is more of a childish dream.”

“Now I only think about lifting trophies and making history with Liverpool, which is one of the biggest clubs in the world. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity they have provided me.”

What matters is the second part of that statement. Diaz has previously delivered for Liverpool, and based on Klopp’s comments on Friday, there is every reason to believe he will make a strong comeback. The Arsenal game comes far too soon, but everyone associated with Liverpool must remain optimistic. Diaz is simply too talented for them to overlook.

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