Darwin Nunez could replace Virgil van Dijk as Liverpool’s record-breaking signing if certain add-ons are triggered. In one respect he has already surpassed him. It took the Dutchman 84 minutes to score with his Liverpool bow. Even including injury time, the Uruguayan only needed 37. As those debut goals came against Everton and Manchester City respectively, they look particularly promising.
And if Van Dijk were never measured by his torrent yield, he’s proof that price tags tend to be mentioned far more frequently before a commitment has proven successful. He’s less often described as the £75million man these days.
Nunez cost £64m which could rise to £85m. Van Dijk has made it his job to look calm. He had the temperament to handle the extra attention. Nunez may be under a little less pressure following his surprise appearance on the Community Shield. “Scoring that goal was important, but it’s the same for him as it is for me; You shouldn’t worry about the transfer fee,” said the defender. “I don’t think he does.”
Nunez is also following in the footsteps of others. One issue of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool is the possibility of signing players who can enter directly. Their immediate impact is a testament to wise recruitment. Sadio Mane scored after 63 minutes of his debut and Mohamed Salah after 57 minutes of his. Diogo Jota needed just 41 minutes on the pitch to open his account, spread over two substitutes.
The typical Klopp goalscorer tends to have common denominators – speed, a willingness to go straight on target, an elusive ability in the penalty area – but Nunez, a formidable centre-forward rather than a versatile winger, might benefit from the differences from his predecessor To be defined .
Klopp has warned of an adjustment phase in recent weeks. While Manchester City and Erling Haaland were rarely on the same wavelength, Nunez and Liverpool seemed a better match. “Obviously he’s a very different player than Sadio, for example,” added Van Dijk. “But we progressed, we brought him in, another player, other qualities and we can use those positively.
“You can see that he is direct: he follows well, he is fast, he is strong. He’s a modern striker. Haaland is the same. They have similar characteristics and are difficult to play against. He [Nunez] showed it. He came, I think, at a time when City were a bit more tired and caused them trouble by scoring goals and getting the handball.”
If it hints at a potential super-sub role in the short term, tearing into the tiring defense after Roberto Firmino has exhausted them with his relentless running, the role model for the newcomer could be the least productive of Klopp’s final three fronts. Van Dijk was the defender who got off to a good start. Firmino is the attacker who defends from the front. The Brazilian’s running against City was perhaps partly due to his status as a disruptor-in-chief.
“We play in such a way that as a striker you also defend a lot,” said Van Dijk. “Strikers have to learn that. Bobby obviously pulled it off and I think he’s one of the best in that position to do it. It’s good that Darwin is learning from Bobby, but also bringing his own qualities into play by running after and mixing it up.
It’s part energy, part detail, understanding the intricacies of the pressing game. The positional element of Liverpool’s high-speed football can be underestimated; They can wreak havoc in a planned way.
And yet, when they can sign player types who look natural they fit into a Klopp side, when their budgets enable them to attract highly skilled recruits, Haaland’s troubled start in life at City shows it’s not that easy, Find a very good pair of players with a very good team.
Plug-and-play brilliance can owe chemistry and momentum, the kind of traits that are difficult to quantify in statistical analysis of potential recruits. First impressions meant a lot on Liverpool’s attacking line in the Klopp era. And while their elite group of debut goalscorers may have been formed earlier and includes Roger Hunt and Kevin Keegan, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, Nunez is now in good company.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/liverpool-darwin-nunez-van-dijk-b2135095.html Darwin Nunez follows in illustrious footsteps with immediate effect and debut goal for Liverpool