Liverpool have been floundering this season. The Reds have not lived up to the billing. Wins have been hard to come by, and goals are a rarity. At the weekend, the Reds lost their first game at Anfield in a long while. It was the first home loss for Virgil Van Dijk since he joined the club in 2018.
Liverpool are affected by the departure of Sadio Mane, with the club struggling to fill the massive shoes the Senegalese striker left behind. Jurgen Klopp has to find answers to the goal gap as his replacement for Mane has failed to light up the place.
While Haaland is tearing up records at Manchester City and banging in goals with reckless abandon, Darwin Nunez is struggling for a starting berth at Liverpool. He has not justified the massive investments made in him by Jurgen Klopp. Many have questioned why Klopp has refused to avail the striker of many opportunities. The German tactician has cleared the air on the status of the Uruguayan.
Darwin Nunez is not ready to start
Things are not falling into place for Darwin Nunez at Liverpool. The Uruguay international has struggled for game time. He has received a few opportunities but did not justify his inclusion in the squad. Liverpool could end up paying a club-record fee for the Uruguayan, with many wondering why he has limited game time.
Jurgen Klopp has told the former Benfica striker that he is not ready to start for the team. Nunez has scored three times in the Premier League this term from eight appearances. Nunez has come under the cosh for several missed opportunities. There are claims that should have added more goal contributions.
In the tie against Leeds United that Liverpool lost 2-1, Nunez squandered a good chance as he was through on goal. He attempted to round the goalkeeper Ilian Meslier, but the Frenchman thwarted the move. It has further weakened his position for a starting berth in the side.
Mixed reactions over Nunez’s stats
Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino believes that Nunez is not ready to start for the Reds. The former forward, however, remains optimistic about the player’s future at the club. Cascarino told talkSPORT that he is not ready enough to be in the starting lineup.
Klopp, however, praised Nunez ahead of the loss to Leeds United. He pointed at the Uruguayan’s statistics as a reason for keeping the Uruguay international as a vital part of his plans. Klopp said Nunez has a high xG (expected goals), and despite missing some chances, he has scored goals. Klopp also said Nunez was involved in a lot of finishing moments. Nunez received more praise from the German tactician for making massive steps and would eventually settle in well at the club.
In the Champions League win against Ajax, Klopp played Nunez alongside Mohamed Salah to considerable effect. The German changed the team’s shape to a diamond formation with Fabinho, Thiago and Harvey Elliott behind Roberto Firmino at Anfield.