Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for Luis Diaz after making an immediate impact on his Liverpool bow, with the winger reflecting on a “dream debut” with an assist.
Diaz had only arrived on Merseyside less than 48 hours previous, but was called upon as a second-half substitute as the Reds took on Cardiff in the FA Cup.
The Colombian replaced Curtis Jones with 58 minutes on the clock at Anfield, and within 10 minutes he had set up the second goal of the afternoon for Takumi Minamino.
It came from a moment of sheer persistence from Diaz, who hounded a dithering Perry Ng on the touchline, won the ball and cut it back for his new team-mate to hammer home on the way to a 3-1 victory.
After the game, Diaz took to Instagram to take in a solid start, describing it as a “dream debut.”
“Dream debut,” he wrote.
“It’s incredible to be at Anfield and feel its atmosphere on the pitch. Great team match. Let’s go Reds!”
It was a bright debut from Diaz, who floated around the final third – at times on the left, at times up front, at times on the right – in a glimpse of how Klopp’s forward line could shape up in the weeks to come.
The manager praised his new No. 23 in his post-match press conference, and in particular the move that made it 2-0 on the afternoon.
“The goal he set up for Taki was absolutely incredible,” Klopp said. “High-press, counter-press, I love it!”
But there was also a moment that left him open-mouthed as Diaz challenged for a high ball with Cardiff centre-back Aden Flint, who landed on the winger’s knee and left him waving for treatment.
“He now has a bruise there, it’s red and a little bit open,” Klopp added.
“We all said ‘welcome to England’ and now he has his first assist and his first little scar.
“That’s absolutely OK. I don’t think it will be serious, maybe tomorrow he feels it more then we have to react to that. But it’s nothing serious.”