Alongside Nunez: Slot must ditch Liverpool star whose value has risen £38m

    Liverpool is about to step into the unknown, the murky mists of post-Jurgen Klopp life on Merseyside, a new beginning after an illustrious period that has seen the club win it all, rise from the rubble and revel in a newfound position of power at the height of the continent.

    Third-place in the Premier League with three fixtures to play, Liverpool have come on leaps and bounds after falling by the wayside last year, with Klopp’s sweeping summer changes working wonders, restoring the squad’s strength and clinching the Carabao Cup.

    But Klopp’s squad were a day late and a dollar short in the Premier League title race after recent results handed Arsenal and Manchester City a foothold at this late phase.

    The esteemed German manager will step down from his position at the helm, but FSG have moved astutely to craft a new infrastructure, with Arne Slot set to be announced as the new head coach.

    The current Feyenoord boss will have much to chew over, with one of the most pressing issues being the future of Luis Diaz, who might be better off being sold this summer despite his impressive form.

    Why Liverpool signed Luis Diaz

    With Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all out of contract at the end of the 2022/23 campaign, Liverpool were always going to find a tough task in keeping the three experienced forwards on the books.

    Firmino was allowed to see his contract out and Salah penned a new lucrative deal, but Mane was sold to Bayern Munich in a £35m deal after an incredible career on Merseyside.

    Mane’s sale was clearly, to a degree, predetermined, for the Reds had moved to sign Diaz from Portuguese side FC Porto in a £37m transfer back in January 2022.

    And while the Colombia international has found comparative levels of success under Klopp’s wing, he has only scored 24 goals and added 13 assists across 96 fixtures.

    Luis Diaz’s season in numbers

    Diaz spent the lion’s share of the 2022/23 season sidelined by a knee injury, so it was natural that his early-season fluency was not going to be all there.

    That situation was compounded by a family situation involving his father that naturally precluded him from playing his finest football, but Diaz has gone from strength to strength in recent months and has been praised for his “brilliant” performances by The Athletic’s James Pearce.

    But he’s still not playing to a height that places him at the same calibre as Mane, and Liverpool might be convinced that the beginning of a new chapter calls for a fresh face.

    Luis Diaz: Premier League Stats 23/24



    Matches played


    Matches started






    Pass completion


    Big chances created


    Shots per game


    Key passes per game


    Ball recoveries per game


    Dribbles per game

    1.8 (55%)

    Duels won per game

    4.6 (41%)

    Sourced via Sofascore

    If comparing those metrics with Mane during his final campaign in the Premier League, it quickly becomes clear that perhaps Liverpool could find a more effective cog from the left wing.

    Sadio Mane: Premier League Stats 21/22



    Matches played


    Matches started






    Pass completion


    Big chances created


    Shots per game


    Key passes per game


    Dribbles per game

    1.4 (61%)

    Duels won per game

    4.7 (44%)

    Stats via Sofascore

    As per FBref, Diaz ranks among the top 12% of positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for shots taken and shot-creating actions, the top 7% for pass completion and the top 6% for touches in the attacking penalty area per 90.

    There’s no doubt that Diaz is a talented winger, but there are increasing questions over whether he is the right man to lead from the flank over the coming years, especially given the interest in his signature.

    Why Luis Diaz must be sold

    Liverpool’s frontline has stirred plenty of debate in recent weeks. Diogo Jota is clinical and Liverpool’s finest pure finisher, ranking among the top 1% of forwards across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for goals per 90, but he’s also worryingly injury-prone.

    Cody Gakpo is dynamic and versatile but has yet to hit his finest form on Merseyside. Salah’s future lurks like encroaching mist, out of contract in 2025, though sources have downplayed a summer sale.

    Then there is Darwin Nunez, and then there is Diaz. The futures of these South American forwards linger as the most pertinent and pressing concerns of Slot’s earliest stage as Liverpool manager.

    Nunez joined Liverpool as their club-record signing for £85m but has flattered to deceive in recent games, alienating himself from the supporters’ good books after deleting Liverpool pictures from Instagram after receiving criticisms for his poor form.

    Barcelona are lurking for the Uruguayan’s signature as they look to land a long-term heir for Robert Lewandowski and Stan Collymore has mused that he might be “better off” leaving Liverpool.

    Darwin Nunez against Atalanta-1

    That leaves Diaz. The Colombian has been an electric and impressive presence throughout 2024, with his drive and doggedness winning the crowd over.

    However, he’s not a goalscoring winger like his Senegalese predecessor or indeed his Egyptian counterpart on the alternate wing, and while it’s important to consider his performances as a whole, Diaz is 27 years old and is contracted until 2027 – his value will start to depreciate from this point.

    And considering that Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have expressed an interest in signing the £55k-per-week star, whom Liverpool have valued at £75m, it might be worth cashing in for maximum value and reinvesting elsewhere.

    Moreover, The Athletic’s David Ornstein recently stoked the fire after revealing that Liverpool are in the market for a wide forward this summer, with West Ham United’s Mohammed Kudus mentioned and Michael Olise and Jarrod Bowen are names that will be uttered in Michael Edwards’ transfer meetings.

    Diaz was crowned Liverpool’s Player of the Month for April after producing some excellent, high-energy displays, and while this speaks of his quality, it also speaks of the value in cashing in now, given that his value has risen by £38m since arriving on English shores two-and-a-half years ago.

    Ultimately, Edwards and his team will work meticulously to improve this Liverpool side, and if the right replacement materialises, Diaz must be sold.

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