Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson believes that online trolls will be affecting Darwin Nunez’s confidence at Liverpool.
Darwin has struggled to get going since his big-money move from Benfica last summer. As a result, he has become something of a scapegoat on social media platforms.
Addressing the subject on the Footballers Football Podcast, Wilson claimed that the online ridicule will be reaching Nunez, and knocking his confidence.
“He’s got more goals than me and Michail [Antonio, his co-host] together combined! So I’m not saying nothing about him man!” he joked. “What I will say is that he is young, he’s 23 years old, he has just come to the Premier League which is a difficult league. It’s not a league for boys, it’s a league for men and at the end of the day he’s come from a league which is a little bit different.
“It’s going to take him time to adapt. But there’s obviously no chill on social media so any little thing that happens is becoming a big thing and he’s going to see that, he’s going to be sent that [meme] and he’s going to see people laughing at that.
“And then it just makes you go more and more inward, especially at that age. He seems like a vibrant guy, like a no nonsense kind of guy, so he just has to stick his chest out and keep going. If you miss the chances, so what. As long as you are in position to make those chances you’re not going to keep missing. The clinical finishing will come over time after he’s playing more regularly and he’s played in this league for a little while.”
Darwin still fighting for acceptance
Unfortunately, you’d have to agree that Wilson is right. Even from his earliest days at Liverpool, it became clear that Nunez lets the outside noise affect his performances.
That doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Darwin is a player and a man who clearly wears his heart on his sleeve. Anything that can rile him up and make him willing to prove doubters wrong could in that respect be useful for Liverpool.
Right now though, it isn’t proving that way. The Uruguayan has been injured for a spell and Liverpool have continued to be terrible in his absence. As a result, some of the heat has come out of the conversation around him.
Where every miss and every poor touch were being dissected at the start of the season, they now pass without comment. Once jeered and disrespected, it now seems accepted that Nunez just isn’t very good.
That isn’t something that will, or should be accepted at Liverpool, though. As Wilson points out, he has every chance of still being a success in the Premier League. If he can weather the storm of relentless online ridicule, poor personal form and a team season as bad as any Liverpool have ever had, he’ll come out stronger.
There’s no guarantee that Darwin will do that. But given the obstacles he has overcome to get to this point of his career, you can bet he’ll give it everything he’s got.
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