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Jurgen Klopp surprised at how quickly Luis Diaz has settled – “It looks natural”

Jurgen Klopp has been left surprised by how quickly Luis Diaz has been able to settle at Liverpool, so much so that he was convinced he could start against Leicester.

Ahead of the Reds’ return to the Premier League, after 17 days away, there was much talk over how Klopp would set his side up, with the pick of a near full-strength squad.

In the end, the manager saw fit to start Diaz alongside Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino in attack, with Mohamed Salah kept in reserve on the bench after his exploits at the Africa Cup of Nations.

It was a bold move to give Diaz his full debut, but it paid off as the £50 million signing produced an exciting display and went close to scoring on a number of occasions.

Given the language barrier and the lack of training time – less than a week after arriving from Porto – it came as a surprise to all, including Klopp, that Liverpool’s new No. 23 was able to slot straight in.

“That’s a surprise for me as well!” he told BT Sport.

“But that’s exactly how he’s looked in the training sessions, so I thought ‘OK, why shouldn’t we try it then?’, just without five million informations, just let him play.

“He watched us, obviously, and we showed him a lot of situations, but it looks natural in a lot of moments. That’s really quick.

“It was an outstanding game for the first start, it was really impressive.

“He was involved in so many good football moments and had his own finishes and all these kinds of things. So really, really good performance.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 6th, 2022: Liverpool's new signing Luis Díaz during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Sadio Mane only returning to Merseyside on Thursday, fresh from tasting glory at AFCON, Diaz started in front of the Senegalese’s long-term partner on the left-hand side in Andy Robertson.

The new-look duo combined well throughout, and also speaking to BT Sport, the left-back praised the added competition.

“My Spanish isn’t great, I don’t think his Scottish is quite up to scratch, but we made it work today!” Robertson said.

“Obviously, my partnership with Sadio over the last five years, it’s been special playing with him.

“He’ll come back full of confidence, winning a major trophy for his country. We’ve got options and that’s the most important thing.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, February 10, 2022: Liverpool’s Luis Diaz (top) tackles Leicester’s James Justin during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by Lindsey Parneby/Propaganda)

Robertson added on Diaz: “His first training session I saw him flying about and thought ‘he’ll be OK here’!

“We just need to let him bed in here, he’s still got obviously the language to hopefully pick up and the way we play.

“But I thought, for his first start, he was excellent today.

“I thought everyone was really important today, but him flying into tackles and stuff, that’s one way to get the crowd to love you straight away, and I think they really took to him.”

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