Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher has claimed that Darwin Nunez is managing ‘scary’ numbers for the Reds, despite struggling to hit the ground running.
Nunez arrived from Benfica in the summer with a club record price tag attached to his back. But even after goals on his first two appearances, the Uruguayan was sent off in just his second Premier League game and took some time to force his way back into favour.
Jurgen Klopp admitted in early October that Nunez, still only 23, needed to calm down and quickly mature if he was going to be an effective player for Liverpool.
Fast forward to now, Nunez has scored in each of his last three Champions League appearances, making a big impact against Napoli off the bench this week. He also scored the only goal in a win over West Ham last month, as well as in the club’s defeat to Arsenal.
Carragher, a Champions League winner in 2005, insists there is potential.
“It's really interesting watching Nunez. He comes on and he makes a huge impact. He hasn't set the world alight, he hasn't done what [Erling] Haaland's done and people would've expected more for the price-tag,” the retired defender said as part of Champions League coverage on CBS.
“But when you look at his minutes on the pitch and how many goals he's scored per minute... his numbers are actually scary! He's actually made a huge impact. But there's still something not quite there, where Jurgen Klopp's going to play him every single game.”
Nunez’s time out of the Liverpool side initially coincided with resurgent Roberto Firmino form. But the 31-year-old Brazilian hasn’t found the net in any of his last six appearances in all competitions.