Alan Shearer has refuted Gary Lineker’s claim that Darwin Nunez could win the Premier League Golden Boot this season.
The Liverpool striker reminded everyone of just how good he can be this weekend, blazing in two superb finishes as the Reds beat Newcastle United.
This has led to overdue praise for Nunez, with his qualities as a striker being rightly highlighted. And speaking on the The Rest Is Football podcast, Lineker took that one step further, chucking the 24-year-old in the running to be the country’s top scorer.
“I imagine that he’ll get a run of games after that performance coming on,” began the pundit. “He had a run of games last season, played plenty of matches didn’t he. But he got himself sent off early days against Palace and there were one or two things. But I think he’ll be challenging possibly for the Golden Boot this season.”
“Do you think that much do you, really?” hit back an evidently surprised Shearer.
MORE LIVERPOOL STORIES
“I think he could do, yeah. I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility. We shall see,” replied Lineker.
“I’m not sure of that, so I’ll go against that. But I definitely think there’s a player in there,” said his co-host.
Lineker backs Nunez for Golden Boot
The main barrier to Nunez being among the Premier League’s top scorers this season is actually getting into the Liverpool team.
With the riches that Jurgen Klopp has up-front, that isn’t going to be an easy task for Darwin.
But having re-announced himself at St James’ Park, he looks set to get a call-up to the starting XI for Sunday’s game against Aston Villa.
From there, it’s up to the Uruguayan himself to make sure he stays there.
To do that, he’s going to have to be scoring. Nunez isn’t a player like a Cody Gakpo for example, who can be involved plenty without having to hit the back of the net.
That’s not to say that he doesn’t create for the team, he does. But the £85m man’s main job has to be sticking the ball in the net. He’s a magnet for chances, if he can finish them off, he’ll stay in the team. If he can’t, then it’s likely that Klopp will turn to either Gakpo and Diogo Jota as his more trusted options.
If that happens over the long-term, there’s no chance of Nunez winning the Golden Boot. He may also get fed up and push to leave Liverpool. Right now, it could really go either way. You just never know with Darwin, that’s what makes him so exciting.