Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that the club is prepared to be patient with record signing Darwin Nunez, who has endured a difficult start to his Premier League career, and has held ‘long talks’ with the player following Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Brighton.
Nunez announced himself to the rest of the world with 34 goals for Benfica last season and Liverpool won the race for his coveted signature, eventually agreeing a deal worth up £85m with add-ons.
But the Uruguayan striker, who only turned 23 during the summer, hasn’t hit the ground running in the same way that Erling Haaland has at Manchester City – the pair were always destined to be directly compared by fans and media alike.
Nunez was sent off on his home debut for Liverpool in August and instead of phasing out Roberto Firmino, he found himself on the bench behind the Brazilian at the weekend.
“He’s good. Of course he’s still adapting. New players come in and everybody talks about them and wants them to shine immediately; that happens from time to time and sometimes not,” Klopp explained.
“Only [on Sunday] we had a long talk with him through [assistant manager] Pep Lijnders, because my Portuguese is still not better. We just told him we are really calm. It’s really important in our situation that he isn’t looking like he is worrying or whatever,” the boss added.
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Klopp went on to explain that the reason Nunez didn’t start against Brighton, having done so in the goal-less Merseyside derby against Everton, was because of a hamstring injury he suffered while on international duty last month.
“The team is not flying and that makes it not easier for a striker, especially not for a finisher,” Klopp said. “It’s not that we aren’t creating chances, but it’s not like everything is clicking and we put in one player and he finishes our situation off.
“That’s not our situation at the moment as much as I wish it would be.”