Liverpool Unveil New Signing Darwin Nunez
Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Pundit wants Darwin Nunez to focus on copying his new Liverpool teammate

Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore wants Darwin Nunez to focus his playing style on a new teammate rather than goals. The Uruguayan has a tough task at hand.

Liverpool have a new striker and his name is Darwin Nunez. The Uruguayan arrives from Benfica for what could be a club-record fee – if various add-ons trigger.

For now, he’s simply a massive investment from Liverpool in an incredibly exciting young striker. Nunez is still only 22 but scored 32 goals across the Primeira Liga and Champions League last season. That figure alone sums up what the Reds believe they have.

In reality, Nunez is a justifiable transfer for far more than the goals. The Reds get so much for their money but there is one thing they don’t get – a False 9. That’s important, too, as Jurgen Klopp has essentially always played with one at Liverpool.

Nunez isn’t great at that kind of linkup play, however, and the team must adapt to that. He’ll try to lead the line in a more traditional way, looking to get on the end of things and operate as a physical presence up against defenders.

Darwin Nunez and his playing style

Former Liverpool striker, Stan Collymore believes Nunez should still look to emulate that False 9 role, though. It could be a difficult year for goals, he says, and looking to someone like Roberto Firmino is how the 22-year-old can succeed.

“It wouldn’t surprise me Nunez took a few months to settle in and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t a 25 or 30-goal season striker for the next couple of seasons in the same way that Bobby Firmino hasn’t been,” Collymore told the Mirror.

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“But Firmino brought so much more to the team and if Nunez can make time and space for others, bring them into play, close down very well and get 15 to 18 goals next season as Firmino did then I’ll be very happy.”

Collymore is right to an extent. Nunez must deliver do all of the Firmino-esque things going forward – the graft that most players don’t like to do. There’s no way around that.

Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

But Liverpool paid what they did because they feel Nunez can deliver that and the goals. They simply wouldn’t invest that kind of money in a goalscorer if they didn’t expect him to do both.

Nunez will have to do it all in a completely different way to Firmino as he’s not a similar player in most respects. But the player he likely replaces – Sadio Mané – offers a better example. The Reds’ no.10 does the pressing, the running and the defending that Liverpool like on top of being a regular goalscorer.

That’s the standard Nunez must match.

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