Liverpool would have the ‘best player in the world’ if he could finish like Man City star – Barnes

Joe Williams
Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland
Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland are looking to fire their sides to glory this season.

Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez would be the “best player in the world” if he could finish as well as Manchester City star Erling Haaland, according to John Barnes.

Nunez has earned praise from Jurgen Klopp this season for his improved performances after struggling for consistency in his first campaign in the Premier League.

Despite not performing at his best, Nunez still managed to knock in 15 goals in 42 matches in all competitions for Liverpool in 2022/23.

Nunez has contributed seven goals and five assists in ten starts and nine substitute appearances in all competitions this term – but has not scored in five matches.

Man City striker Haaland has already scored 19 goals in 18 Premier League and Champions League games this term and former Liverpool star Barnes reckons Nunez would be the better player if he had the Norwegian’s finishing.

Barnes told “Darwin Nunez works hard for the team and never shies away from the ball. He shows for the hall, he gets on the ball, helps his team mates.

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“If Darwin Nunez was as good a finisher as Erling Haaland, Robbie Fowler or Alan Shearer he would be the best player in the world.

“The physical qualities Nunez has are things those players didn’t have. You can’t have it both ways.

“If he was a fantastic finisher he wouldn’t have come to Liverpool for £60m.”

Barnes is looking forward to seeing Nunez continue to improve at Liverpool, he added: “With what he has and the attributes of aggression and his mentality, his hold up play and his willingness to work, he’s okay for Liverpool.

“If Matt Le Tissier ran around more he would have cost £500m. If Vinnie Jones had lots of skill he would have cost £200m. You can’t have it both ways.

“He can improve in terms of his finishing but he’s never going to be a finisher like a Robbie Fowler or an Ian Wright.

“I’m pleased and the fans love him so he’ll be fine.”

Cody Gakpo scored twice as he started over Nunez in their 4-0 victory over LASK in the Europa League on Thursday night and the Dutchman is welcoming the competition.

On Nunez, Gakpo said ahead of the match against LASK: “He is doing great and it’s like a competition.

“But I think we both have to just keep working hard and being the [best] players we can be to help the team as much as we can.”