Liverpool have only seen a glimpse of what Darwin Nunez is capable of, manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday, as he seeks to maximise the potential of the 23-year-old striker. Nunez, who cost the Reds an initial 75 million euros (USD 75 million) from Benfica in June, has had an erratic start to his career at Anfield. The Uruguayan was sent off on his home debut for a headbutt on Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen. There have also been a series of high-profile missed chances, but he is finding his range with four goals in his last five appearances.
“He’s had a really good month,” said Klopp at his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Leeds.
“The potential is incredible. It’s not just the speed, the attitude is really good. He’s a real worker and again, I tell you, I know there are people out there who think ‘technically, not sure about his first touch – it is incredible.
“That he doesn’t bring it always into the pitch right now is nothing to do with technique. It’s a bit of awareness, orientation, but that is all possible to develop and learn. It’s really exciting.”
Nunez was on target as Liverpool cruised into the last 16 of the Champions League with a game to spare with a 3-0 win at Ajax in midweek.
However, Klopp’s men have won just four of their first 11 Premier League games to fall 12 points off the pace at the top of the table.
Victories over Manchester City and West Ham had appeared to get Liverpool back on track after a slow start to the campaign, but that momentum was lost in a 1-0 defeat to bottom-of-the-table Nottingham Forest last weekend.
And Klopp stressed the need for his side to give themselves something to fight for in the second half of the season after the upcoming World Cup break.
“Around the Nottingham game we had quite a few reasons to be positive, but we cannot ignore the Nottingham game,” he added.
“We have to create a basis for the time after (the World Cup) and we have to do that with the three games in the league which are all difficult.”
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