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'Very Talented' - Virgil Van Dijk Names Surprise Player Who Has Impressed Him In Pre-Season

Alfie Culshaw

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'Very Talented' - Virgil Van Dijk Names Surprise Player Who Has Impressed Him In Pre-Season

Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk says new signing Darwin Nunez has impressed him during the club’s pre-season tour.

Nunez completed his move to Anfield from Benfica earlier this summer in a deal that could be worth up to £85 million with add-ons.

The 23-year-old travelled with the Liverpool squad to Asia and took part in friendly matches against Manchester United and Crystal Palace in Bangkok and Singapore respectively, last week.

Despite receiving criticism for his cameos in both of these games and failing to find the back of the net, Van Dijk has insisted that he is excited for what the Uruguayan will bring to the Reds’ attack.

Speaking to the Athletic, the Dutchman said: “We saw how good Darwin is when we played against Benfica last season."

"He’s a very talented striker- one for now and also one for the future. I just remember in the away leg, he tried to target Ibou (Ibrahima Konate) a bit more than me!"

“He did well. He caused a lot of problems for us as a team. Very direct, quick and strong. I was sad that Sadio (Mane) left us (for Bayern Munich), but we knew it was coming."

"He felt that it was time to move on and get a new challenge. We all respected that."

“The club reacted by getting Darwin in. Hopefully, he’s going to have a fantastic career at Liverpool.”

Nunez netted 34 times in 41 appearances for Benfica in the 2021/22 season and has been brought in to fill the void left by Mane, who departed the North West for Bayern Munich earlier this summer.

With the Senegalese international having scored 120 goals in 269 appearances for the Merseyside club, this is a big hole for a young striker coming from the Portuguese League to fill.

Despite struggling in these pre-season games, Jurgen Klopp told the Athletic he’s not concerned over the marquee signing. 

“I am not worried at all (about Nunez),” the German boss said. “The general judgement is 0.0 percent interesting."

"We all know it’s a joke, or a game for some people to pick out some situations where a player is not doing well."

“The only really important thing, first and foremost, is how I judge the situation for the player."

"I couldn’t be more calm about it. I am completely convinced about his potential.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool, Darwin Nunez

Alfie Culshaw
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