Colombia's Luis Diaz (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Luis Diaz nets again to guarantee August as earliest Liverpool return date

Luis Diaz scored a sumptuous goal as Colombia romped to a semi-final berth with a 5-0 win over Panama, ensuring Liverpool’s winger will not report back to the club until August.

The 27-year-old is one of three Reds in the semi-finals at Copa America, with Alexis Mac Alister and Darwin Nunez joining him in the final four.

Diaz started his fourth game in the tournament on Saturday and was again on the winning side as Colombia proved ruthless in attack.

Panama (14) may have had twice as many shots as Colombia, but it was the latter who were clinical when it mattered with all five shots on target finding the back of the net.

Jhon Cordoba opened the scoring before James Rodriguez converted from the penalty spot, and then it came time for the former Real Madrid midfielder to brilliantly set up Diaz.

A raking ball from his own half found the run of Diaz, who needed one touch before lobbing the goalkeeper to make it 3-0 after just 41 minutes.

His second goal of the tournament, and it was the last one he celebrated on the pitch in the quarter-final, with his substitution preceding a further two goals for Colombia.

Liverpool’s No. 7 notably combined his attacking efforts with defensive actions, winning 11 of his 16 ground duels – the most of any player on the pitch.

And he will now come up against Nunez’s Uruguay in the semi-final in the early hours of Thursday morning in the UK, with Mac Allister on the other side of the draw.

As Copa America will host a third-place play-off, regardless of the outcomes of the semi-final ties, the trio will only return for pre-season from August 5, at the earliest.

Arne Slot‘s side start their season on August 17 at Ipswich, which does not leave a lot of time for a host of key players to get up to speed with their new demands.