Virgil van Dijk has claimed that it was ‘important’ for Darwin Nunez to score in yesterday’s Community Shield victory over Manchester City and explained that the Uruguay international should not let his expensive transfer fee affect him.
Jurgen Klopp’s new No. 27 replaced Bobby Firmino on the hour mark and played a significant role in the contest – the 23-year-old won the Reds a penalty after his headed effort struck Ruben Dias on the hand and he then found the back of the net himself with a well-taken effort in injury time.
The Netherlands captain did admit that Nunez has some learning to do in order to have a successful career at the club like fellow forward Bobby Firmino, but believes he has his own individual traits that will benefit the Reds.
“To score that goal was important,” van Dijk told The Telegraph.
“For him it’s just the same as me (when signing for Liverpool). The transfer fee for example is not something you should think about. I don’t think he does.
“He has to keep learning, keep working and we play in a way where the striker has to do a lot of defending as well and there’s something for strikers to learn.
“Bobby mastered it and he’s one of the best ones in that position to do it so he can learn from Bobby but also bring his own qualities into the game as well with runs in behind. You have to mix it up.”
It’s actually quite funny when you think back to a couple of weeks ago when rival fans were already claiming that Nunez was a flop – he then scored four goals in one game and turned yesterday’s game on its head – where are the fail compilations now?
Erling Haaland was handed a chance from the start in yesterday’s game, but the Norway International failed to make the impact he would’ve hoped for and even blazed over from six yards out late on in the game with a chance that really was harder to miss.
Although Nunez looks very settled at the club already, time should still be afforded to the former Almeria man before we can expect him to perform at his best week in and week out.
The entire squad looked right up for it yesterday and at times City couldn’t handle the pace at which we knocked the ball about and transitioned from attack to defence with one pass.
Despite the likes of Sadio Mane, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino departing the club, we appear to still look as dangerous as ever at the top of the pitch and long may that continue.