Diogo Jota explained the ‘big change’ going from Sadio Mané to Darwin Nunez at Liverpool. The Reds have adapting to do.
Liverpool made their biggest transfers in years this summer. Not only did they sign Darwin Nunez for a massive fee from Benfica but the Reds said goodbye to Sadio Mané – one of the best we’ve seen at the club.
Mané spent the bulk of his Anfield career playing from the left but primarily operated from the middle last season. It meant that Nunez’s arrival was more like-for-like than it first seemed.
That, however, is a massive change. The two are very different players and this was quite plainly about Liverpool heading in a new direction with their attack. But how do the players see it?
Diogo Jota briefly talked about the switch after Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Ajax on Tuesday evening. He pointed out that there’s really only one ‘change’ worth focusing on right now.
“Darwin didn’t play too many games yet with the sending-off he got,” said Jota, per the Liverpool Echo. “In contrast, Sadio played for this team for a long period and was used to everything.
“It’s quite a big change but if we keep playing like this then it will be easier for Darwin and for everyone.”
Going from Sadio Mané to Darwin Nunez
It was always going to be a big change, in truth. Mané is a club legend and one of the world’s best and most successful forwards. Nunez is a 23-year-old who dreams of reaching that level.
On top of that, he plays a different role to Mané – one Liverpool haven’t used for some time. Nunez is a threat in behind but also as a physical presence up top. He lacks the dribbling and ball control of Mané – or any of Liverpool’s forwards – and instead wants to be on the end of chances.
That will take time to get used to but we don’t doubt that everything will click together. As Jota mentions, Nunez hasn’t had much time to adapt but we’ve already seen what he can bring. His impact against Manchester City in the Community Shield, as well as against Fulham, shows the potential when things go right.
And in time, things will become easier for both the player and his teammates.