Harvey Elliott can’t wait to play alongside Darwin Nunez at Liverpool, and says the 23-year-old ‘has everything.’
Speaking to The Athletic, Elliott claimed that the whole Liverpool squad are ‘excited’ to see what their new teammate can do.
“His movement, his physicality, his work rate, his speed — he has everything a Liverpool player needs,” said the 19-year-old.
“We’re all excited to see what he can bring. He’s only going to make us better and bump us on. We’re like a family here and we’ll look after him. There’s the Spanish and the Portuguese-speaking contingent, so that helps language-wise. No one ever feels left out here. There’s a good vibe in the squad that helps new lads settle.”
Nunez made his debut for Liverpool in yesterday’s disappointing 4-0 defeat against Manchester United in Bangkok. With the first minutes now under his belt, he’ll hopefully kick on in training before The Reds take on Crystal Palace on Friday.
A lively cameo from Nunez, but no goal
Nunez gave a decent glimpse into the kind of player he’ll be for Liverpool against United yesterday.
Although he wasn’t able to score, he did well to bring a good save out of David de Gea from a tight angle. He perhaps should have scored when he fired over after Mohamed Salah hit the post, but generally he looked lively.
Obviously, with such a big transfer fee involved, his every movement will be heavily analysed this pre-season.
But it’s best just to let the forward get on and play. It won’t be easy to settle into a brilliant Liverpool team while trying to get used to a new country and a new language at the same time.
The exception that proves the rule
After Luis Diaz’s successful transition from Porto, it may be expected that Darwin will adapt similarly quickly.
But Diaz was the exception that proves the rule, really. It’s incredibly rare for a player to hit the ground running as quickly as the 25-year-old did after joining in January.
Thankfully, as Elliott says, Liverpool currently have an excellent group together. They’ll all be making sure they go out of their way to welcome the new addition.
Being on tour could also help in this respect. Rather than having to come home to an empty hotel room or a brand-new neighbourhood, Nunez is instead able to socialise with his new teammates, getting to know them better.
Hopefully Liverpool and Nunez see the benefits of that sooner rather than later. But if it doesn’t happen straight away for him, that’s fine too. Let’s give him time.