The striker comes to the Premier League with a lot of promise and potential. 

Liverpool FC completed the signing of Darwin Nunez recently. The outfit paid approximately £85m for the player to SL Benfica. This makes him the second-most expensive signing in the club’s history. Bringing him to the club after paying a huge transfer fee indicates the quality of the player. The Merseyside outfit is very precise and signs players that complement the playing style of the team. 

As the club goes through a transitional period, players like Nunez will lead the team into a new era. The 22-year-old will lead the club’s forward line for the next many years. Players like Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are not getting younger by the day. Furthermore, Mane is set to leave the club and the outfit moved quickly in the market to sign a replacement. 

From the look of it, the signing of Darwin Nunez rivals Manchester City bringing Erling Haaland to the Premier League. Both clubs are direct competitors for the league title and are making fabulous moves in the market. Heading into the new season, Nunez will help the Reds mount a stronger challenge and here is how:

The numbers

As they say, statistics never lie. To get an idea of what Darwin Nunez brings to the club, here is a look at his numbers from the 2021-22 season with Benfica. The forward scored a whopping 34 goals and made four assists in 41 appearances across all competitions. Six of those 34 goals came in the 10 outings from the UEFA Champions League alone. Furthermore, he scored against Liverpool twice in the competition, once in either leg of the quarter-final. 

He also scored against the likes of FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munich in the competition. In 84 appearances with SL Benfica, the striker managed 47 goals and made 16 assists. With 26 goals in the Liga Portugal, the striker won the golden boot as well. Considering such numbers, it is no surprise that Liverpool chose to pay such a hefty price for the striker.

Secures the club’s future

A major factor behind the huge transfer fee for Darwin Nunez is the age of the player. He is only 22 years old and has a ton of potential. Despite his young age, he is showing a lot of maturity in his performances. With players like Firmino, Mane and Salah reaching the exit door and getting older, the club has acted quickly in preparing their replacements. Nunez completes this overhaul after the arrival of Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz before him.

Like every top club, LFC too must go through a transitional phase and recruit smartly. The Uruguayan is contracted until 2028. For the next six years, the forward line for the club is in safe hands, or legs for that matter.

Tactical genius

Darwin Nunez adds an extra element to Liverpool’s attacking lineup. With Sadio Mane set to leave, the club was supposed to find a left winger for his replacement. However, with Luis Diaz’s arrival and Mane shifting to a central role, the club went in search of a No.9 instead. This is an area where Nunez excels, playing as a focal point.

He is an expert at exploiting gaps behind the defensive line and making penetrative runs. Players like Thiago will relish a runner behind the line who will aim to provide him with through balls. The forward also has a physical presence. Being 6’2’’ feet tall, he is a threat in aerial situations and is good at overpowering defenders. 

With Nunez occupying defenders in the centre, it will allow more space for Diaz and Salah on the wings to cut inside and create scoring opportunities. He also likes to occupy space on the left to get on the ball which is a classic trait of forwards at Liverpool that provide fluidity.

Hunger for goals

Darwin Nunez likes to link up with other attackers and can play multiple roles in the forward line. However, the striker has aggression and hunger for goals similar to Luis Suarez, his fellow countryman and a former Red. In the Portuguese alone, Nunez scored a goal every 77 minutes which is an incredible feat. 

In terms of shots per game, the striker took three shots on average. Creatively, he created 10 big chances for his fellow teammates. The striker also loves to get in the box, as 193 touches inside the opposition box (second-best in Liga Portugal) would suggest. He has already scored twice for Uruguay’s national team within 11 appearances and looks hungry to add more goals to his tally. 

Validation from Jurgen Klopp 

Back when Liverpool played Benfica in the UCL, Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for the player. “Really good, really good. I knew before, of course, but he played pretty much in front of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konate. He was physically strong, quick, was calm around his finish. Good, really good. I always say in these situations if he is healthy, it’s a big career ahead of him.” he said while talking about Nunez’s potential.

A player that has such praise from one of the best tacticians in modern football will most likely succeed. LFC has complete faith in their manager and hence backed him with the signing. 

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