It’s clear Darwin Nunez will need loads of service if he’s to exchange the goals of Sadio Mane next season, following a difficult debut cameo in Liverpool red in Thailand against Manchester United. The Uruguayan was fighting blisters in Jurgen Klopp’s side’s final training session before the encounter and he was summoned from the bench for the ultimate half-hour of the friendly.
It’s clear to see why he was of such strong interest to the Anfield hierarchy. His relentless pressing and willingness to run in behind goes to stretch Premier League defences from the get-go.
Yet when it comes to his ending, Nunez seemingly has plenty to work on despite netting 34 goals in all competitions for Benfica last season.
He squandered a wonderful probability to get off the mark in style when he fired over from close range with the goal at his mercy.
Mohamed Salah controlled the ball brilliantly before jinking inside and unleashing a curling effort which got here back off the post.
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Nunez showcased his desire to run in behind defences as he got onto the top of a number of raking long balls.
He’s a speedy customer, who also possesses strength and may do either side of the sport – by twiddling with his back to goal and facing forwards.
Patience might be required as Nunez adapts his game to Liverpool’s style and there might be more to return from him within the remaining friendly as Klopp’s side heads to Singapore to face Crystal Palace.
The intriguing proposition is how Nunez’s arrival affects the likes of Roberto Firmino and Diogo’s Jota’s probabilities of minutes.
While it’s an extended old season, you’d expect Nunez to feature prominently through the center for the Reds.
He brings a powerful mix of each Firmino and Jota’s qualities to the table – providing manager Klopp with loads of food for thought.
Nunez can hold the ball up just like the Brazilian, yet very like Jota – he’s willing to dart in behind defences to gather the ball.
It’s hard to attract much from a 30-minute cameo however the rawness of Nunez suggests he may very well be a captivating watch this season…