Journalist Sam Tighe has voiced some concern surrounding Liverpool’s club-record transfer of Darwin Nunez.
The striker will join for £85m after an explosive campaign that saw the 22-year-old net 34 goals in 41 matches, including six in the Champions League – two of which came in either leg of Benfica’s quarter-final against the Reds.
The Uruguayan sharp-shooter only arrived in Lisbon in September 2020 as Joao Felix’s replacement signing for a Portuguese top-flight record deal of £21.6m from Spanish club Almeria, and his stock has risen exponentially in the space of under two years.
He will now link up with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield as the Reds look to challenge once again for the Premier League title, but although wary of the centre-forward’s killer instincts, Tighe has stressed that there are facets of his game that still need developing.
Is Nunez worth over £80 million?
Speaking on the Ranks FC podcast, he said: “I’m not saying that Liverpool have cornered themselves here, but they have taken a bit of a leap, which is not quite like them.
“He is a nightmare to play against, Darwin’s a beast. He is a physical specimen, strong, fast, direct, incredible frame, aggression. There’s a bloodthirst to Darwin Nunez’s game that I absolutely love.
“But there are things for him to work on and concerns. His link-up play isn’t good enough and needs to be worked on.”
TIF Thoughts on Nunez to Liverpool…
Will Nunez be a success at Liverpool?
As is expected with a 22-year-old, there will be raw elements to Nunez’s ability, and as seen on FBRef, involving those around him appears to be a weakness.
He is in the lowest percentile compared to players in his position in Europe’s top five leagues and major European competitions for passes completed with a 54% pass completion rate, and an average of 18.47 passes per 90 minutes suggests he doesn’t tend to be too involved.
However, his tally of 0.73 non-penalty goals per game does put him amongst Europe’s elite when it comes to strikers, and with those predatory instincts, you would think he will be able to survive while Klopp looks to hone his craft just like he has done with others before him.