Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has claimed that Darwin Nunez will score a lot of goals for his new club.
Writing in his column for The Times, Benitez predicted Nunez will soon start to be a hit at Liverpool.
“Darwin Nunez is still settling into the club. His recent sending off has impacted upon how quickly he has been able to build-up an understanding with new team-mates, but the positive from that situation is that he knows not to become involved with defenders again,” said the Spanish coach.
“I also think he will score a lot of goals for Liverpool and that he provides them with a different dynamic to Roberto Firmino. Firmino likes to drop off, create superiority in the middle of the pitch and help his team-mates score whereas Nunez is someone who always wants to be in the penalty box. He needs a little time and Liverpool just need a goal to boost their confidence. I don’t see a team struggling with major issues.”
Nunez heading in the right direction at Liverpool
From what we’ve seen in the early days of Nunez’s time at the club, he’s going to get plenty of chances to score.
Like Erling Haaland at Manchester City, he seems to be a magnet for the ball in the penalty box.
Unlike Haaland, that hasn’t yet translated into a bucket load of goals. In fairness though, Darwin has still only played four games for Liverpool.
Of those, only half have been starts. And from those two starts, he is still yet to complete 90 minutes.
Seen through that kind of perspective, the fact that he has managed a couple of goals so far is very encouraging. As Benitez points out, his sending off against Crystal Palace has somewhat clouded judgement of Nunez. Prior to that, the 23-year-old was clearly enjoying a good starting period for his new club.
It also shouldn’t be forgotten that he had looked pretty lethal in pre-season. Four goals for a new club in a single game is something quite extraordinary. The Uruguayan is a goal-getter and he’ll hopefully soon start to show that.
Fingers crossed that a scoring run can begin with a goal or two tonight against Napoli. Liverpool have a poor recent record against the Italians, especially away from home, and will need to take their chances when they get them.
Darwin enjoyed playing in the Champions League for Benfica last season. As he looks set for just his third Liverpool start tonight, he’ll be expected to make a similar impact this campaign.