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Bielsa strategy offers Arne slot the key to helping Liverpool star ‘thrive’

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By Pranav Ravindrannair

Arne Slot will do well to listen to Marcelo Bielsa to get the best out of Luis Diaz at Liverpool

Liverpool stars Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz will face off against each other in the Copa America semifinal later tonight with a spot in the final against World Champions and Copa America holders Argentina up for grabs.

Both players have struggled for consistency in Red but have shown themselves to be different beasts while in national colours. Uruguayan boss Marcelo Bielsa deserves massive credit for boosting Nunez’s numbers and could now very well have handed Liverpool the key to getting the best out of Diaz as well.

Speaking ahead of the game via AS, Bielsa opened up about the threat Diaz offers and outlined the key strength in his armoury. A pacy winger, the 27-year-old thrives when in space and it is something Slot must take note of.

“If we defend with 40 meters behind us, Díaz is going to thrive. He loves having space behind him, and even if we defend right in front of the goal, he’ll still find ways to take advantage.”

A regular match-winner for Colombia, Diaz has struggled to make a similarly consistent impact in Red. A lot can be attributed to the tactics employed by Jurgen Klopp that saw Diaz drop deeper and also move into central areas. This more or less kills the winger’s attacking impetus and also denies him space to manoeuvre.

With Nunez leading the line and Mohamed Salah more often than not cutting inside, it is in Liverpool’s best interests to have Luis Diaz hug the line. Having him out wide where he can make use of his pace and get into open areas can help the best out of the player. With Bielsa aptly identifying the traits as a major threat, it is time Slot starts using it to his advantage at Anfield.

Arne Slot will do well to listen to Marcelo Bielsa to get the best out of Luis Diaz at Liverpool.
Luis Diaz needs to do more at Liverpool.

In many ways, the two international tournaments have offered Liverpool fans a glimpse of what their left flank could offer next season. Diaz continues to leave his opponents dumbfounded in Copa America while Cody Gakpo looks a different player out wide.

The Dutchman was also largely used in a central area last season, blunting his decisive ability to make a difference from the left. By restoring him to his more natural role, Slot could unlock the best in yet another of his attackers.

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Bielsa has not just provided Liverpool with the template to get the best out of Nunez but also it would appear Diaz now. Should Slot learn from the Argentine tactician’s assessment, the Liverpool frontline could be far more lethal next season.