Jurgen Klopp changed his plan for Darwin Nunez after seeing the Uruguayan just a couple of times in training.
That’s according to The Telegraph, who claim that Klopp ‘radically changed’ his expectations of the forward ‘within a few training sessions.’
While Nunez was initially seen as an immediate option for the first XI, that has reportedly now changed. Instead, the 23-year-old is now said to be seen as very much a ‘work-in-progress.’
It’s claimed that it’s currently ‘inconceivable’ that Nunez will start either of the upcoming games against Arsenal and Manchester City. Instead, the striker will have to ‘fully acclimatise’ before he starts regularly.
Nunez still trying to settle in
This isn’t a huge surprise. In hindsight, it was perhaps unrealistic to expect Nunez to hit the ground running.
Maybe if this had been a settled and firing Liverpool side things would be different. Luis Diaz for example slotted straight into the team, but by then the Reds were in the rhythm of the season.
He proved a catalyst to them doing so, but they already had the groundwork laid to push for a quadruple.
By contrast, Liverpool now feel like a side in transition. After losing Sadio Mane this summer, they are also dealing with a number of key players starting to age all at the same time.
That isn’t the ideal situation to throw in a new, big money signing.
But at the same time, expectations could reasonably be higher for Nunez. He isn’t an unknown quantity. This is a player who has excelled in the Champions League already. The fee involved should command that he is able to be a starter straight from the off.
Of course, football rarely works that way. Just ask Jadon Sancho at Manchester United or Nicolas Pepe at Arsenal. As Klopp has already pointed out about Nunez, the fee should be forgotten.
Still, Liverpool fans would be justified in feeling a little short-changed by the manager’s usage of their new man so far. Nevertheless, it looks as though the wait to see him as the Reds’ main man is set to go on.