Does Jurgen Klopp’s play-style change as a result of the Uruguayan striker’s move to Anfield?
Jurgen Klopp has expressed his enthusiasm over the Reds’ latest £85 million ($100m) acquisition and expects Darwin Nunez to integrate into the team at Liverpool as fast and easily as Luis Diaz did before him. In his first game for his new team, Nunez played for 30 minutes on Tuesday as Liverpool lost 4-0 to Manchester United in a preseason friendly in Bangkok.
The 23-year-old Uruguayan striker, who has 48 goals in the last two seasons with Benfica, has a good reputation and offers an exciting development for the Reds that Klopp believes will make them even better moving forward.
What has Klopp said about Nunez’s arrival at Liverpool?
Prior to Liverpool’s trip to the Far East, Klopp spoke with a few reporters, outlining how Nunez would fit in at Anfield and how the Reds’ playing style would change now that Sadio Mane has left for Bayern Munich.
Klopp described him as a No. 9 who can play on the wing. “The difference is that Sadio was a winger who could play in the No. 9 position, if you compare the two players.
We have Luis Diaz, Fabio Carvalho, who can also play on the wings, Diogo Jota, and other players of this kind.
We have so many choices up front that I’m sure I’ve already forgotten some, and Mo [Salah] is still here, has been around for a while, and is good as well.
“I enjoy that there are so many different options available to us. We have lost Divock Origi and Taki Minamino as well as Sadio, and I think it is safe to say that without the two guys, we would not have won the cup last year. Although we are quite appreciative of that, changing after a while also makes sense.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 12, 2022
“Therefore, despite the fact that Sadio is missed, a player of his caliber, and Divock and Taki are also missed, our efforts and style of play need to be renewed.
“What do we do since each player has various qualities and this always depends on those qualities?
“I have an idea, but I don’t want to reveal it right away because I’m genuinely open to what the boys have to say before we move forward.
“But] we have a settled formation, if you will, and everyone is aware of how it is like this, but we have some genuine choices to alter the pitch’s dynamics, and I think it makes sense for us.”
Nunez shouldn’t play like Firmino, in my opinion.
Nunez’s arrival, of course, raises concerns about Roberto Firmino’s position, who has long served as Liverpool’s center forward but started just 17 games across all competitions last season as Mane and Jota were more utilized in the No. 9 position.
Klopp is aware of this, but he has underlined that Nunez won’t be expected to play like Firmino, saying that while he anticipates Nunez to start strong like Diaz did after joining from Porto in January.
In my opinion, Nunez can adapt just as quickly as Luis, Klopp stated. “Luis had no preseason; he simply joined the team on Monday, played on Saturday, and everything was ‘okay, all right, all set!'”
“The reason was that Luis played at Porto exactly like we wanted him to play here; we didn’t hand him the playbook and tell him to look at that; instead, we just let him play and made small adjustments here and there.
“That is essentially how Darwin works. Darwin shouldn’t be altered in a week, two weeks, or three weeks.
— Darwin Núñez (@Darwinn99) July 11, 2022
“Do I want Darwin to play in the same position as Bobby Firmino? Not at all, no. It is illogical. We’re discussing a False No. 9 and a No. 9. That is the distinction.
We need to adjust a little to that, and whether that happens in the opening Premier League match or the second, third, or fourth, I couldn’t care less.
“We just need to get to work on it, and we will. We’ll find out how swiftly that goes during training. I appreciate that about it. It will be quite fascinating.
“For two, three, or four of those years, we always knew going into the preseason that Sadio, Bobby, and Mo would start up front. Almost everyone can now enter the room. That is what we must employ. We strive to employ that.
There will be enough games for everyone to participate, but I’m most interested in seeing how we can all put ourselves in a position to score the extra yard, which will offer us all an almost indescribable level of delight.