Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool remain calm about Darwin Nunez’s slow start to life at Anfield after benching his record-breaking signing for the last three games.
The German and his multilingual assistant Pep Lijnders had a lengthy chat with the Uruguayan, who could cost Liverpool up to £85m, to urge him not to worry about his efforts to get into the team.
Nunez scored in his first two games after joining from Benfica in the summer but has only started one of Liverpool’s last seven games when he is serving a three-game ban for being sent off against Crystal Palace had started against him in a 0-0 draw, but Everton missed chances and were substituted on against Napoli, Ajax and Brighton.
“Obviously he’s still adapting, as players always adapt,” said Klopp. “New players come in and everyone is talking about them and wanting them to shine right away. This sometimes happens and sometimes it doesn’t.
“Just yesterday we had a long chat with Pep Lijnders because my Portuguese is still not better. We just told him that we are really calm. In our situation, it’s really important that he doesn’t look like he’s worried or anything.”
Nunez’s cameo against Brighton didn’t start until the 89th minute but Klopp said he wasn’t fit to start and said Liverpool’s mixed form made it difficult for the signing to settle down.
He added: “Why he didn’t start the game at the weekend, he came back from internationals and had a hamstring problem and when you get that info from the medical department you get an idea of what minutes he’s allowed are to be played, and you don’t start someone who is only allowed to play 20 or 15 minutes.
“I know that this type of discussion will open up to the outside world. The threesome, of course [suspension] didn’t help him, that’s for sure. But that’s pretty much it.
“The team doesn’t fly and that doesn’t make it any easier for a striker, certainly not for a finisher.
“It’s not that we don’t create chances, but it’s not that everything clicks and we put in a player and he ends our situation. That’s not our situation right now, as much as I’d like it to be. That’s all.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/darwin-nunez-liverpool-jurgen-klopp-b2191560.html Liverpool ‘calm’ over Darwin Nunez is struggling to find his feet in an underperforming team