News of Erling Haaland’s apparent hospital visit will have boosted Liverpool ahead of the titanic clash between the Reds and Man City, as will the expected arrival back into the first team picture of one of their most exciting attacking talents.
Though Liverpool have been poor and porous defensively, with Jurgen Klopp surely being the first to acknowledge that, they’ve missed a little creativity up front that might well have deflected some of the criticism the squad have faced during 2022/23.
Without Sadio Mane as a wingman, Mo Salah hasn’t looked his usual self, Roberto Firmino is now a bit-part player, and it’s taken a little while for Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo to adopt Liverpool’s style.
The one player that could really have taken the game to each opponent would’ve been Luis Diaz, were it not for his long-term injury.
However, a route back into the first-team might not be that far away.
According to a report in the Liverpool ECHO, Diaz could be back in Klopp’s thoughts soon, with the manager quoted back on February 28 as saying:
“When he is back he will be really good and very impactful, of course. That is clear. How quickly, I don’t know. We have to see. That’s the big challenge in these moments. There’s no time for being patient but you have to be patient […] you always have to wait. On Tuesday I saw a very intense session, a lot of change of direction and stuff like this, if there is no reaction from that then he can make the next step. Then I think he is not too far away.”
Given that almost a month has now passed since that statement, it’s possible that he makes a comeback against City.
Even if he were only to be used as an impact sub, his mixture of terrier-like tackling and desire to win the ball, as well as a true eye for goal, could cause Pep Guardiola’s side numerous problems.