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Former Liverpool star Lucas Leiva’s prediction about Darwin Nunez is being proven correct following the striker’s strong start to the season. Nunez endured a rollercoaster of a debut campaign in the Premier League but now looks at home in Jurgen Klopp’s system and is starting to justify his £64million price tag.
The Reds have enjoyed a solid start to the season, with their midfield rebuild playing a key role in the success that the team is now enjoying. Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch have injected fresh energy and creativity into the ranks, and the Liverpool forwards have reaped the benefits.
Nunez is firmly among the beneficiaries, scoring four goals and registering four assists in 11 Premier League appearances – only six of which have been starts. The ex-Benfica star has made the No 9 spot his own at Anfield, whilst being equally effective on the left.
Nunez showed plenty of promise during his debut season in the Premier League but looked incredibly raw, prompting conversations about whether he would ever truly meet the mark on Merseyside. Many gave the 24-year-old their vote of confidence though, including ex-Reds defensive midfielder Lucas.
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Speaking over the summer, the Brazilian said to the club’s official website: “He’s a goal scorer, we have no doubt about that. With his pace as well, I think it will be important to help him achieve what he wants this season. Darwin in his first season, I think he was great.
“We know how difficult it is to come and play, the demands are really high, the way Liverpool play is different. So I think he’s done well.
“Of course, in the second season we are all looking forward to seeing him improve again because he’s young, he’s fast and can score goals. Hopefully, this year will be an even better season for him.”
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Nunez has proved Lucas right, with his rich scoring form earning him justified comparisons to fellow Uruguayan Luis Suarez who he is learning from on Uruguay duty.
In 22 appearances this season, for club and country, Nunez has scored 10 and assisted nine – impressively averaging a goal contribution every 66.3 minutes. That is similar to the kind of output Suarez conjured up in his final year at Liverpool in 2013/14.
The 24-year-old needs just another goal or assist to match his total tally of 20 total goal contributions from the entirety of last season (47 games) with club and country, showcasing the significant progress that he is continuing to make at Anfield.
If Nunez is to be Liverpool’s new Suarez then he must continue to keep finding the back of the net to help the club regain their status as bonafide Premier League title contenders.
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