Ian Wright has claimed that Liverpool’s reception for Diogo Jota against Everton could have upset Darwin Nunez.
Jota made his comeback after four months out injured during Monday’s Merseyside Derby. Replacing Nunez with 20 minutes to go, supporters were clearly delighted to see the No.20 back in action.
As a result, Jota’s song rang out around Anfield as he entered the pitch. Obviously, this was no reflection on the player coming off. Nunez had an excellent game against Everton and was pivotal in the opening goal of the night. But, crucially, he didn’t manage to score.
And speaking to The Ringer, Wright thinks Darwin could have potentially taken Jota’s reception in the wrong way.
“It was amazing [the reception for Jota]. To the point where I was thinking it might be quite sad for Darwin Nunez when you hear someone roared on like that,” said the pundit. “It’s the kind of reception, I’m telling you as a striker, and you come off and someone comes on, and you’ve not scored and someone gets that, you hear that. You hear that.
“It’s not something that you’re thinking to yourself ‘oh they like him better than me’ but you hear it and it makes you feel a certain type of way.”
Nunez still a fan favourite
This is an interesting point from Wright, but we’ll have to disagree.
Simply, Darwin doesn’t seem like the kind of character to let this kind of thing bother him. He’s combative and feisty, yes, but only towards the opposition. With his own teammates he seems like a happy-go-lucky kind of guy.
Given Liverpool’s struggles this season, it will also benefit everyone to have Jota back. Darwin may see his game time slightly reduced as a result of the Portuguese returning, but it’s for the good of the team.
Also, looking at his behaviour after being taken off, he hardly had the look of a man who was sulking.
Already on the bench when a melee broke out between both sets of players, the 23-year-old was quick to race in and make his presence felt.
It’s also worth pointing out that the crowd are perhaps even more supportive of Nunez than any other player right now. His energy and work-rate on Monday had the Anfield supporters chanting ‘Nunez, Nunez, Nunez’ at every opportunity. So no, we don’t think he’ll be too upset, Wrighty!