Liverpool fans can officially get excited about Darwin Nunez after his competitive debut for the club. He’s going to fit to perfection.
Darwin Nunez cost a fortune to get to Liverpool. In fact, he could end up being the club’s record transfer if all goes to plan.
But that doesn’t mean he’s a guaranteed success. A lot of pre-season talk has been negative, in all honesty, particularly from rival fans – there’s a sense that he’s not all that good.
And yet, Liverpool clearly saw something very special in Nunez for them to pay all of that money. His new teammates saw it, too, with Trent Alexander-Arnold saying he knew the striker was ‘special’ when he faced Benfica.
We finally got to see exactly what the fuss is about, then, with Nunez’s competitive debut on Saturday. It’s safe to say that everyone can get excited.
We’re excited about Darwin Nunez
Nunez won a penalty for Liverpool’s second goal in the Community Shield. He then scored the third in the 3-1 win over Manchester City – about as good a debut as you can get. And he did it all as a second-half substitute.
But take that away and Nunez still looks like the right player for Liverpool. His introduction changed the game, bringing new direction for the team. Suddenly, they had a centre-forward playing on the shoulder of the defence, constantly looking to attack the goal.
The Reds took advantage of that immediately. Jordan Henderson played Nunez through on goal, crosses were played to him from deep, and instead of trying to involve the Uruguayan, they just wanted to create chances for him.
Nothing shows that better than the fact Nunez completed three passes against City but had four shots. He wasn’t there to be Roberto Firmino.
And that’s an incredibly powerful weapon for Jurgen Klopp. If things need a change, he can bring it. Defences might have a handle on Liverpool’s usual attack but how many can also handle Nunez? We’re willing to bet that very few have that kind of versatility at the back.
But above all, the reason to be excited here is that Liverpool have so many players who can click with Nunez. Henderson has a striker who wants to capitalise on his pressing. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have the best crossing target they’ve ever had. Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah have a striker who takes attention away from them.
We can’t wait to see how this all clicks together because Nunez can’t possibly be at his best yet – he’s 23 and has only been at the club for a few months. Give it a few more months and he’ll be something very special.