Liverpool believe struggling Darwin Nunez will be a star

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 5 Jan 2023 09:07 GMT
  • 3 min read
Darwin Nunez, Liverpool, 2022/23

Liverpool still have faith in big-money summer signing Darwin Nunez despite a poor start to the season, according to reports.

The forward has made headlines for his poor finishing since the resumption of the Premier League campaign following the World Cup break, with his performance against Aston Villa, in which he missed four big chances and completed just four passes, a notable example.

However, Fabrizio Romano believes that Jurgen Klopp still backs the summer arrival, despite the January acquisition of PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo.

READ: Darwin Nunez is the world's most entertaining footballer

In his column for Caught Offside, Romano said: “It’s not been the easiest start at Liverpool for Darwin Nunez, but all the indications I get from both Liverpool and the player’s side are clear: they are convinced it’s just a matter of time.

“He’s happy at Liverpool and Klopp is supporting him. No one has doubts into the club or on player side. I think they will keep protecting Nunez.”

READ: Darwin who? Benfica a much better team after €100m Nunez sale

Nunez at Liverpool

Nunez, 23, arrived at Anfield for €80 million in 2022, but that fee could increase if various bonus add-ons are met.

Therefore, the investment made by Liverpool has been a severe one, and so far it's not quite been rewarded.

Darwin Nunez

Darwin Nunez

The Uruguay international still has five Premier League goals to his name, the same as the much lauded Gabriel Jesus in far fewer minutes, but his all-round play hasn't been up to scratch.

Nunez has used his strength and speed to get into dangerous areas, but he hasn't had the composure to add to his tally of strikes this year.

According to the official Premier League website, Nunez has missed the most big chances of any player in the division this campaign with 15, three more than club team-mate Mohamed Salah and Ivan Toney.

Furthermore, after his huge xG overperformance at Benfica last season, in which he scored 10 goals more than xG suggests he should've, it's gone the other way this year.

Nunez has underperformed his xG by 4.5 goals this campaign, the worst of any player in one of Europe's top five leagues, and has failed to score from 16 shots worth 3.5 xG since returning to Liverpool from Qatar.

But, Klopp reportedly still believes in his man and Liverpool will need him to find some form as they face a competitive top four race to finish in one of the Champions League spots.