Liverpool legend John Barnes has lauded summer signing Darwin Nunez, who has been Jurgen Klopp’s “most dangerous striker” this season.
The Uraguay international signed for Liverpool from Benfica last summer. He joined the Premier League giants for an initial £64m and this fee could reach £85m with add-ons.
Nunez has been criticised at times this season as he is still pretty raw. But he is a player with immense potential and he has produced for Liverpool this term, with him being involved in 18 goals across all competitions.
The attacker will be an important player for Klopp in the coming seasons as the head coach looks to rebuild Liverpool.
So it is baffling that MailOnline have claimed that ‘Nunez must be a central figure at Liverpool or be allowed to leave… the £85m striker has one goal in his last 10, is yet to fully win Jurgen Klopp’s trust and the jury is out on whether he is the answer’.
This statement is rightly ripped apart in today’s Mediawatch column, as Klopp clearly trusts the 23-year-old. Only seven Liverpool players – Alisson, Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Andrew Robertson and Jordan Henderson – have played more minutes than Nunez this season.
Barnes has understandably leapt to the defence of Nunez, who has caught the eye because of his “aggression and willingness to work”.
“I think what we need from Gakpo and Nunez is consistency rather than for them to improve. They will improve when they’re more consistent,” Barnes told MyBettingSites.
“Whilst Nunez hasn’t played a lot recently I feel as though he has been our most dangerous striker this season with his aggression and willingness to work.
“I don’t think there are any necessary improvements for them to make. They’ve got great attitudes and they work hard for the team. Next season we will see them do it more consistently.
“Gakpo hasn’t gone under the radar because he’s played regularly and the fans are appreciating him.
“He’s come into a team that has not performed consistently. In the last four or five games Liverpool have played well and he’s contributed to that with goals.
“Nunez and Gakpo will play more consistently when Klopp has established and settled the side next season. Gakpo has been very good in the last four games or so.”
Liverpool have been linked with Sadio Mane in recent weeks as it is being reported that Bayern Munich are looking to sell him just a year after he moved to Germany.
Barnes thinks “there’s no point going back to Mane” as Liverpool are well-covered in attacking areas.
“We have to prioritise midfield. There’s no point going back to Mane when we have so many attacking players,” Barnes added.
“I love Sadio and he’s one of my favourite players but when we have Salah, Jota, Nunez, Gakpo and Diaz we have to prioritise midfield next season.”