Jurgen Klopp has hailed Luis Diaz as “fresh blood” vital to Liverpool’s progress, hinting at a shakeup of his long-serving trio of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Moving into 2022, the Reds have faced a big decision over the future of Klopp’s three leading goalscorers, with Salah, Mane and Firmino all into the final 18 months of their contracts.
For so long his first-choice front three, there have already been moves to evolve that unit with the addition of Diogo Jota from Wolves, who has taken over from Firmino as leading striker.
Now, it seems as though Diaz could be in line to replace Mane, with there being a telling quiet over possible contract talks with both Mane and Firmino.
Initially, the plan will be for the Colombian to compete with Liverpool’s No. 10, with Klopp outlining the situation as he awaits a reaction.
“First and foremost, nothing happened apart from we brought a really good player in,” he explained.
“Now we really have to work with Luis – with all the others, of course, but with Luis as well.
“It’s really nice to have these kinds of options. We constantly prepare today and then for tomorrow as well. That’s what we do, that’s what our job is.
“The reaction of players is always that they have to perform on the highest level, that always has to be the case.
“Our players, even when we had injuries and stuff like this, and had only three available up front, they pushed themselves to an extreme extent all the time.
“That’s why we were pretty successful in the last few years.
“We cannot hope that we can get through this with three or four players. We need options.
“All development includes fresh blood. That’s what we did with Diogo when he came here and it was obviously pretty helpful, and now when we signed Luis it’s exactly the same.”
This “fresh blood” is not an everyday squad player, and like Jota, Diaz has arrived for a significant fee that places him within the club’s top five most expensive signings.
With the deal with Porto potentially rising to £50 million, there is no escaping the fact that Diaz has been brought in as a starter.
Klopp’s further comments, then, went on to suggest that Liverpool have opted to strike first before Mane – or even Salah – departs the club, either in the summer or at the end of next season.
“Players might have plans for their future, but the club has to be ready for pretty much all scenarios,” he continued.
“That’s what we do between playing games all the time, thinking about these kinds of things.
“This club is too big to rely on one person, if it’s me or if it’s a player, so we need to be prepared and the club needs to be prepared for all different scenarios.
“We feel in a good place in the moment.”