Liverpool and Klopp disagreed over signing who made ‘unforgivable’ error against Everton

Joe Williams
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Darwin Nunez
Jurgen Klopp gives Darwin Nunez a hug after a match.

Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp disagreed over the signing of Darwin Nunez as the Reds recruitment team preferred a Chelsea star, according to reports.

The Reds lost 2-0 to Everton on Wednesday night as goals from Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed bragging rights for Sean Dyche’s men on Merseyside.

That result has seen Liverpool drop three points behind leaders Arsenal – who have a far superior goal difference – and two points behind defending champions Man City.

Defeat to Everton all but ended their hopes of winning the Premier League title this season and Nunez’s finishing was again criticised in the aftermath of the loss.

When asked if it could be time to move Nunez on in the summer, Carragher told Sky Sports: “I think there is a question to ask. You want him to do well because he gives everything, he causes trouble, he gets the odd goal. But after two years, when Liverpool are going for the title or in big games, you need your man to score at Old Trafford or at Goodison Park. This is the business end. He’s ground to a halt.

“After two years there’s going to be no improvement in him. This is what he is. He can cause trouble but he’s erratic with his finishing – it’s not enough to win you trophies so there’s a big decision to be made on him.”

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Carragher added: “The chance Nunez misses is unforgivable at this level. It’s not acceptable when you’re going for a title.”

11 goals and eight assists in 32 Premier League matches, 22 of which were starts, isn’t a terrible return but he is statistically one of the worst finishers in the Premier League.

‘Darwin Nunez was very much a Jurgen Klopp signing’

And The Times journalist Paul Joyce has now revealed how Klopp had to fight his corner in order to sign the Uruguay international from Benfica in 2022 as the Liverpool recruitment department wanted current Chelsea forward Christopher Nkunku.

‘Nunez was very much a Klopp signing (Liverpool’s recruitment thinktank preferred Christopher Nkunku, then of RB Leipzig, who has spent this season injured at Chelsea) and the manager spoke about how it is his responsibility to provide the player with the confidence to perform.’

Former Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique also expressed his dissatisfaction at Nunez’s performances earlier this month and insisted the Uruguayan is not at the “required level”.

“There is too much space opening up for other sides playing against Liverpool, but that is not the biggest problem,” Enrique told Grosvenor Sport.

“They are simply missing too many chances. It is not possible to win the Premier League when you miss as many chances as they do, especially when you aren’t too strong defensively and concede a lot of chances at your own end.

“Darwin Núñez is simply not at the required level and he never has been. He is a good player, I like him a lot and the fans love him, but he isn’t at the level of some of Liverpool’s best forwards from the past.

“He is a good player but he is not a Liverpool number nine. He could play for a lot of top teams in Europe, but he is not good enough for those that are challenging for trophies. Their old front three was one of the world’s best and now this current team only really has two goalscorers — Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota.

“Cody Gakpo is not a goalscorer and he won’t get you 20 goals every season like Sadio Mané and Salah did. Roberto Firmino wasn’t a player to score that may goals, but he gave you so much more outside of that. Darwin Núñez gets a lot of chances but misses them too frequently.”