Former Liverpool forward Stan Collymore has claimed that new Reds signing Darwin Nunez ‘is not as guaranteed’ as Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.
The ex-Red was still keen to suggest that the Uruguayan had a ‘great season’ for Benfica last season, but labelled the signing of the 22-year-old as a ‘gamble’.
He told The Mirror (via the Liverpool Echo): “Nunez is not as guaranteed as Haaland, who at international level and at Borussia Dortmund has had a proper grounding and learned to deal with expectations at a level Nunez has not.
“That’s not to say Nunez hasn’t had a great season at Benfica, because he has — he’s a proper centre-forward but someone who can drift around and come off the left, run with the ball, and I like that. But he’s still way more of a risk and a gamble than Haaland, even though for Liverpool it’s a risk that’s worth taking.
“The Portuguese league isn’t as strong as the Bundesliga, we know that, so it’s going to be about the magic manager Jurgen Klopp imbues in him. But the statement is a very important one because it says, ‘We’ll go toe-to-toe with any of our rivals because people want to come and sign for Klopp’.”
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Haaland was officially announced as a City player this week after joining from Borussia Dortmund for an initial fee of £51m.
His goalscoring record is quite frightening when you consider that he netted 86 goals in 89 games for the Bundesliga giants and has 135 goals in 182 senior appearances.
When you look at Nunez’s statistics from last season compared to the Norwegian’s, however, he’s got better figures in a number of key areas.
Our new No. 27 netted 34 goals in 41 appearances for the Lisbon-based outfit as well as having a better shot conversion rate and minutes per goal rate compared to Haaland.
Both players are great players in their own right and there’s no real need to compare the two – they will attempt to do their talking on the pitch and repay the faith showed in them by their respective managers.
You’d have every right to expect Nunez to come into the Liverpool side and slot into the middle of the front three with Luis Diaz and Mo Salah on either side of him.
We can’t wait to see him in action in the famous Red shirt and we wish him all the best!
#Ep54 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Rating Liverpool’s transfer window, Bellingham to Liverpool?… & more!