Paul Merson Luis Diaz
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'Outstanding': Merson says £56,000-a-week man could come off the bench and fire Liverpool to FA Cup win today

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Paul Merson believes Luis Diaz can fire Liverpool to FA Cup triumph over Chelsea today, even if he starts the game as a substitute.

The Colombian joined the Reds from Porto back in the January transfer window for a reported initial fee of £37 million (Sky Sports). The Portuguese top-flight is far inferior to the Premier League, which is why many felt Diaz would take a while to settle in.

However, the 25-year-old has surprised almost everybody, probably even Jurgen Klopp. He’s taken next to no time to adapt to the English game, and he’s arguably one of the biggest reasons why Liverpool are still in the hunt for the quadruple.

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Merson, like many of us, just can’t believe how quickly Diaz has settled in at Liverpool. The Englishman has now gone as far as saying the Columbian is even better than Luis Suarez.

Paul Merson: Luis Diaz could come off the bench and be Liverpool’s matchwinner

In his column on The Daily Star, Merson wrote: “Luis Diaz reminds me of Luis Suarez and he could win the Liverpool the FA Cup final this weekend even if he doesn’t start. I just think he’s a fantastic player who has settled quicker than smoke – and he’s going to win more than Suarez ever did at Anfield. 

“Diaz has already done that and he’s going to end up winning a lot, lot more. He’s always on the front foot, always gets the ball forward, makes good runs off the ball. He’s a nightmare for defenders because you can’t pick him up. He’s quick and direct and if he loses the ball he works his socks off to get it back. Suarez was the same. He ticks every box.

“I can’t believe how outstanding he’s been coming to a much tougher league – and he’s had a tougher job than Suarez. Suarez came into a lesser team where he could become a big star quickly. But Diaz has come into one of the best teams in Europe. He’s had to fight just to get in the team because Liverpool’s front three is already the best in the business.

“Words can’t explain how good he’s been in my opinion. He’s not even guaranteed to start the final. But he has made such an impact off the bench that if he has to come on in the game, he could still be the matchwinner.”

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Should he start in the FA Cup final vs Chelsea?

Jurgen Klopp must have a headache with respect to his team selection every single week, especially with his front three, but it’s a good headache to have.

Mo Salah is a guaranteed starter for Liverpool irrespective of what happens, while Sadio Mane’s recent form makes him undroppable as well. There’s only one spot left and Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Diaz all want it.

It’s going to be hard for Klopp to pick one player, but if it was our decision, we’d go with Diaz. The Colombian is a nightmare to defend against, and considering how poor Chelsea have been at the back over the last few weeks, it’s the perfect game for the £56,000-a-week man.

However, even if he starts on the bench, he’s more than capable of coming on and firing Liverpool to their second trophy of the season this evening.

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