Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has backed new striker Darwin Nunez ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal on Sunday and claimed we should be "optimistic about what's coming from him in the future".
The £68m Uruguayan has struggled with consistency since arriving at Anfield from Benfica, but played well despite not scoring in Liverpool’s 2-0 UEFA Champions League win over Rangers.
Klopp tweaked his usual 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 with Nunez playing alongside Diogo Jota, Mo Salah and Luis Diaz in spells, and the German said that he is ‘optimistic’ about the future with the former Almeria man at the fore.
“It was his movement and the boys around him,” Klopp said in his press conference ahead of the Reds’ Emirates Stadium visit.
“One thing he showed so far in all games, he gets himself into good finishing positions. It's why we should be optimistic about what's coming from him in the future.”
Nunez scored 34 goals in all competitions last season, but the Premier League has proven a big step up so far.
He scored on his competitive debut in the Community Shield before netting the Reds’ first league goal of the season against Fulham - but has failed to hit the back of the net since.
It wasn’t helped by his own act of stupidity, headbutting Joachim Andersen on his Anfield debut against Crystal Palace which would rule him out for three matches.
He tested Allan McGregor on four occasions against the Gers in a promising performance, which the experienced Scot dealt with well.
As Klopp says, Nunez’s movement is his main attribute. Once he gets his finishing going, he could be a frightening prospect to many defenders.
Numerically, Nunez is exceptional in certain fields too. As cited by the Daily Mirror through Wyscout, he has averaged 6.2 shots a game, 1.8 more shots than lethal Manchester City man Erling Haaland. He’s also averaged 0.1 more touches in the penalty box per 90.
The only way he will gain the confidence is to keep playing - with comments like this from his boss, it seems ever more likely that he will do so come Sunday.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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