Darwin Nunez admits to early struggles at Liverpool but hopes to emulate ‘idol’ Luis Suarez


Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez has admitted to struggling to adapt in his first season in the Premier League but hopes to emulate former fan favourite Luis Suarez and ‘explode’ in the future.

Nunez has scored 10 goals in 25 matches since his club record £85million move from Benfica in the summer, however his overall displays have spilt opinion among supporters.

The Uruguayan has regularly caused problems for opposition defences, but has faced criticism for wasteful finishing.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has repeatedly backed Nunez, although the 23-year-old has started the club’s last four matches on the bench.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Nunez admitted he was still adapting to the physicality of the Premier League and confirmed Klopp’s advice to remain calm when in goalscoring positions.

‘I don’t think I’m playing well at the moment, but I always want to improve,’ Nunez said. ‘I try to improve every day.

‘Klopp knows my strength is my speed, running into space. Also, he tells me that I need to be more calm when I’m playing, and that I need to move more.

‘He tells me that I need that, and that I am a player with a lot of quality. So, that’s more or less what he wants from me – and, of course, that I score goals.’

‘He has told me that I have to be calm in games when it comes to finishing.

‘He wants me to take a second longer, because if I shoot with anger, or I rush it, then it will always go badly.

‘He asks me to take an extra second, with calmness, and I will score.’

Klopp had previously said there was an obvious comparison between the forward and Robert Lewandowski, who initially struggled after signing for Borussia Dortmund before becoming one of the most feared forwards in Europe.

Nunez drew to the comparison to his international team-mate Luis Suarez, who initially took time to adapt to the Premier League after signing for Liverpool in the January transfer window back in 2011.

Suarez scored four goals in 13 Premier League games after making the move, while the forward contributed 11 goals in 31 matches during his first full season at Anfield.

The Uruguayan star took a starring role in subsequent seasons at Liverpool by scoring 23 goals in 33 matches in his second full campaign.

Suarez nearly inspired Liverpool to the title in the 2013-14 season with 31 goals in 33 games, before moving to Barcelona.

Nunez revealed he had spoken to the former Liverpool star, who he hopes to emulate by ‘exploding’ in the Premier League in the near future.

‘Of course, it’s always helpful to speak with Suarez,’ Nunez said.

‘For me, he is an idol. He is a great example. In the national team, I now have a much better relationship with him.

‘We are always talking and he is always giving me advice. I always try to keep in touch with him.

‘I ask him a lot of things because he was at this club and he has a lot more experience than me.

‘He is an important player to give me advice and explain things to me.’

Despite his mixed campaign, Nunez has been backed by pundits to become ‘world class’ when he adapts to life in the Premier League, with the 23-year-old seen as having time to improve the weaker aspects of his game.

Liverpool face a battle to secure qualification to next season’s Champions League, with Klopp’s side currently 10 points adrift of the top four places in the Premier League.


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