Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has made bold claims regarding Darwin Nunez and has compared him to former fan favorite Fernando Torres.Nunez has blown hot and cold following his move to Anfield in the summer from Benfica for a fee of €75 million plus €25 million in add-ons.
The striker opened the scoring for the Reds in their 2-0 win against Newcastle United on Saturday at St. James’ Park.
The Uruguay international showcased his exceptional ball control as he fired the Reds’ first goal past Newcastle United keeper Nick Pope.
Following the game, former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez lavished praise on Darwin Nunez for his work rate and willingness. He said on Sky Sports:
“He is a hard worker – he’s always making the runs and doing the right things. After he finished and scored a great goal manager will be happy.”
Benitez’s fellow pundit and former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp compared the 23-year-old to former Reds striker Fernando Torres. He said:
“I think he’s a player – when you have that devastating pace he’s such an outlet. Like Torres.”
Benitez claimed that Nunez has everything in his game to make the opposition manager concerned. He said:
“My feeling is you are watching the game – as a manager you are really worried. He has the pace to do that and run in behind. For you as a manger he is someone you have to worry about then he will finish.”
The Spanish manager, who brought Fernando Torres to Anfield, insisted that the former Spain international was also not the best finisher when he moved to Merseyside. He added:
“When Fernando Torres first came to Liverpool, he struggled with putting chances away – he was a great player but he wasn’t a great finisher. We worked with him and in time he became the Fernando we knew.”
Darwin Nunez scored his sixth Premier League goal against Newcastle United on Saturday and took his overall tally to 11 goals and four assists in 28 games.
Liverpool open talks with defender as they eye move in the summer
Liverpool have reportedly opened talks with Colombian defender Kevin Mantilla after being impressed with his performances at the South American Under-20 Championship.
As reported by Football Insider, the Colombia Under-20 international Mantilla has emerged as a target for the Merseyside giants. The 19-year-old plays for Colombian club Independiente Santa Fe.
The Reds have already met with the player to discuss a potential transfer to Anfield, according to the report.
Apart from the Reds, several other English top-flight clubs have also taken note of the left-footed defender’s abilities, who can play as a centre-back or full-back.