Jurgen Klopp claims Darwin Nunez would have ‘definitely’ scored 20 goals if Liverpool had been at their best this season… as he admits he expects more than the £85m next year
- Darwin Nunez scored just 15 goals in all competitions in his debut season
- The Uruguayan was guilty of missing several golden chances
- Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted Nunez needs time to adjust to the club
Jurgen Klopp has claimed striker Darwin Nunez would “definitely” have scored 20 goals this season if Liverpool had been normal.
The jury is still out on £85million Nunez, who has scored just once in 11 games and missed chances, although he has also scored this season against Manchester City, Arsenal, Newcastle, Napoli and the Real Madrid.
Klopp expects more from the 23-year-old Uruguayan’s next season but said: “He needed time to settle in. The hardest thing for a striker is to get into a team that doesn’t click.
“For him to have scored 15 goals anyway, imagine if by our standards a good season with 70 or 80 points he would definitely have scored around 20 goals.”
‘Mo Salah in his best season – about 40 goals – missed chances. It’s normal. Erling Haaland missed chances. That’s how it is, but they had a lot more than we created at that time. But 15 goals is still very good and three games to go, so maybe increase that number as well.
Jurgen Klopp has claimed Darwin Nunez would ‘certainly’ have scored 20 goals this season if Liverpool had been normal themselves
Nunez was guilty of waste in front of goal, scoring just nine Premier League goals
‘We talked about it. He needs time to adjust. He had that too at Benfica, but there was no language problem, or less of a language problem than here.
“It is clear that we will try to help him and he can help us even more than he has already.”
Fifth-placed Liverpool, who face Leicester tomorrow, are 20 points behind leaders Manchester City, but Klopp doesn’t want to obsess over Pep Guardiola’s side when it comes to next season.
“It’s not about that, there are two games a season, or maybe with three four five game cup competitions where you play against Man City or Arsenal,” he said.
“A successful season is that you are ready for all the games you can win around 20, maybe 25 games.
“If City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle, Tottenham, Man Utd are all involved in this 25, even better.”
“But can we create a team that can win the majority of games?” Yes we can. It’s not about what other people do, it never was. Liverpool and Manchester City have dominated the Premier League landscape in recent seasons, being the only two clubs to win the title since 2017. Indeed, the rivalry has been such that City have twice edged out Liverpool for the one-time title. single point, with both clubs amassing 90 odd points in the process.
The arrival of Arsenal, and to a lesser extent Newcastle United and Manchester United, hinted at the end of the two-team dominance.
The German added: “So to get around 90 points is absolutely crazy, it’s quite special and nobody should take this stuff for granted and I think the top five, six, seven will come even closer.”
Klopp admitted Nunez needs time to adapt and has full faith in the Uruguayan to get good
It’s been a tough year on the pitch for the Reds, but they end the season in fine form
“It will become more difficult and more competitive, which is already the case this year.
“It doesn’t make it easy, but it gives anyone with a good idea a chance to be a part of it and that’s all you’re really looking for because if you’re part of that battle up there, you can also win it, that’s how it is.’
It’s no coincidence that Liverpool’s recent upturn in fortunes has seen top scorer Salah return to form with eight goals in his last eight games, something Nunez would love to emulate.
Liverpool have made an initial payment of £64m for the pace, with the fee having the potential to rise to £85m with add-ons.