Jurgen Klopp needs to play Darwin Nunez or run the risk of him wanting to leave Liverpool.
Nunez is the toast of Anfield this bank holiday Monday, having blasted in a terrific double against Newcastle yesterday. It was a real message from the 24-year-old, who has played just 41 minutes of football across three games.
And according to ESPN FC pundit – and former Liverpool player – Steve Nicol, Klopp now can’t afford not to give Nunez a run in the team.
“It will become a problem if he [Klopp] doesn’t give him a run of games,” said the pundit. “When you do what he did and prove a point and say ‘right, I’ve shown you that I’m capable, now give me the opportunity.’
“And if he doesn’t do it [perform], then although he’s not going to be pleased, at least he’s maybe had a run of three or four games.
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“If you’re put back on the bench because you haven’t produced, then you can’t complain and he’ll probably still be a good soldier.
“But if you never give him a chance to be trusted, then eventually you’re going to lose him.”
Klopp urged to start Darwin
This is a good take from Nicol. After an electric pre-season, Nunez showed that he was ready to start games for Liverpool this season.
Fair enough you might say, Darwin didn’t set the world alight in his previous two cameos – although he was good at Chelsea – and the other two have been slightly more consistent.
But after what Nunez produced on Tyneside yesterday, that no longer holds weight. If he’s on the bench next weekend against Aston Villa, Liverpool’s No.9 will be justifiably angry.
Klopp may argue that this could work in his, and Nunez’s favour. The £64m man clearly relishes playing when he’s got something to prove. It brings out the best in him.
But on this occasion, it would surely only serve to demoralise a player who is now bursting with confidence.
The Liverpool manager will surely see that, and will surely start Darwin at Anfield on Sunday. Anything other than that, and you could see why Nunez may start to become jittery.