Arsene Wenger has argued that Liverpool “miss” Sadio Mane and that Darwin Nunez’s move to the club from Benfica “hasn’t worked” so far.
The Reds have struggled at the start of this term as they have only won two of their opening seven games in the Premier League.
Liverpool dropped points over the weekend as they drew 3-3 against Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk have been slammed in the aftermath of this stalemate.
But Nunez is another concern as he has not been able to hit the ground running as a Liverpool player. An initial £64m was spent to bring him in from Benfica.
The forward has only netted once in four Premier League outings. Patrice Evra thinks he will lose sleep over not scoring:
“It hurts me to say it, but Erling Haaland will be the top goalscorer. He is a goal machine. It’s like what Guardiola said when he scored a hat trick, it’s not like it’s something special, because that’s what he’s done all his career,” Evra told Betfair.
“Darwin Nunez has just come to a new league but when Liverpool wins and he doesn’t score I know he won’t sleep.
“It’s in their DNA. I remember (Ruud) Van Nistelrooy, when we won a game 4-0, and at 4-0 he was picking up the ball and running to the centre to put the ball down because he wanted to score a goal.
“After that game, he just took a shower and was angry, we’d just won 4-0. Those guys are born for scoring goals. I know they say like yeah the most important thing is the team, no, they’re trying to be humble. The most important thing for them is that they are scoring goals. That’s the truth.”
Nunez was brought in after Liverpool sold Mane to Bayern Munich as he entered the final year of his contract.
Mane was integral for the Reds under Jurgen Klopp. The Senegal international shone as they won the Premier League and Champions League in recent years.
Wenger has now suggested that Liverpool’s tough start to the 2022/23 term is “difficult to understand”, but they do “miss” Mane:
“It’s difficult to understand. They have the same core (group of players), the same type of game,” Wenger told beIN Sports.
“They are less efficient in winning the ball back than before. Nunez, at the moment, hasn’t worked out for them and they made a big investment. He’s sitting on the bench.
“They lost Mane, who was a top-level, big-game player. He had something (about him), an aggressive attitude and determination. He’d score no matter what happens, he’d make things happen.
“It’s difficult to measure how much (his departure) takes away. They miss something they had before.”