Exclusive: Liverpool legend John Arne Riise names current star Reds are 'lucky to have' despite criticism

Former Liverpool star John Arne Riise has revealed he 'loves' Luis Diaz, hailing the Colombian's recent form.

Diaz scored the opener in Liverpool's 2-2 draw at Manchester United on Sunday and has three goal contributions in his last three outings.

With the strike the 27-year-old took his overall goal tally to 14 in all competitions this season, while he also has four assists.

Despite his recent return, Diaz has faced criticism from some quarters for his end product, particularly in the wake of Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Manchester City in which he spurned a couple of big chances.

The former Porto star enjoyed an electric start to his Liverpool career in 2022, but his form dipped after a serious injury in his first full season. He has also had to deal with the kidnapping of his father last year, but still remained a favourite of Jurgen Klopp's on the left wing, with his tireless running and dynamism regularly proving a vital asset.

Riise: Diaz is on fire now

Speaking exclusively to Anfield Watch, Riise backed Diaz as a player Liverpool are lucky to have along with his teammate Darwin Nuñez.

"I love him. I love Diaz," Riise said via BoyleSports, who offer the latest Premier League betting.

"I think his contribution to the game, in the game, in a match is unbelievable. He got some criticism because his finishing hasn't been where it should be. Because he's came to so many chances and missed, but he's looking on fire now, scoring goals, creating loads of chances.

"I think Liverpool should be lucky to have players like Diaz and Nunez as well, who are such a handful for every defence in the Premier League. The power, the pace, and the energetic passion they have is hard to control when you're a defender.

"I think we should be happy to have them and they are getting more and more into the game as well. So, I'm excited to see what's coming next for them."

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League - Anfield Liverpool s Luis Diaz celebrates scoring their side s fourth goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Wednesday January 31, 2024. Copyright: xPeterxByrnex 75209068

Riise, who made 348 appearances for Liverpool between 2001 and 2008, also hailed another of the Reds' South American stars in Alexis Mac Allister, calling the Argentine 'unbelievable'.

He said "I was a little bit surprised when we signed it because it being Argentinian and everything, but he obviously knew the Premier League before it came to Liverpool. He's taken massive steps through the season. I think he's been unbelievable.

"Obviously the goal he scored against Sheffield United. Big players do that in those kind of games, and he steps up. He's one of the players of the season and I can't wait to see more of him in the

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