“I have not seen this before” — Markus Babbel labels Luis Diaz’s start to Liverpool career as ‘abnormal’
Former Liverpool defender Markus Babbel has doubled down on Jurgen Klopp’s claim that Luis Diaz’s start to his Anfield career has been ‘miraculous’, branding him ‘abnormal’.
Diaz, 25, joined the Merseyside club for an initial £37.5m in January from Porto, whom he represented with distinction for three years, where he established himself as one of the continent’s most unpredictable and skilful forwards.
The talismanic Colombian has needed little time acclimatising to the demands of Premier League football, taking to the division like a duck to water, where he has so far bagged two goals in six games and dazzled the Liverpool faithful with fleet-footed exhibitions of skill and creativity.
His early impression has been such that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp recently lauded his influence as ‘miraculous’, and ex-Red Babbel has now echoed the sentiment, suggesting the creative Cafetero has been in ‘abnormal’ form on Merseyside during these formative stages of his career in red.
Speaking to Squawka (courtesy of bet365), Babbel said: “I was thinking ‘this is not normal what he is doing’.
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“From the first day, he has been performing like he’s played for Liverpool the past 10 years. He has been on fire.
“So yes, it has been miraculous. I have not seen this before where a player has moved in the winter window — where you don’t get a pre-season — and been this fantastic.
“He is a top player for Liverpool.”
Since making his Premier League debut in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Leicester at the start of February, Diaz has played like a man possessed, and the numbers back up his lightning start in front of the Kop. In that timeframe, Diaz has completed more take-ons than any other Liverpool player (15), registered the second-most touches in the opposition box (46), behind only Mohamed Salah (79) and is one of just two players to win double-digit fouls for the club (10).
And Diaz makes a quick return to Portugal as Liverpool face Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals, with the first leg taking place in Lisbon on Tuesday night. The capital club were perhaps breathing a sigh of relief when Diaz left their Tres Grandes rivals, but they will once again tussle with him, looking to inflict a first-ever Benfica defeat on his CV. In seven games against the Estadio da Luz club, Diaz has never tasted defeat.