Noel Whelan has suggested that Jurgen Klopp doesn’t trust Darwin Nunez after the Uruguayan was named as a substitute and only played the final few minutes of Liverpool’s 3-3 draw with Brighton at Anfield.
The 23-year-old was rested alongside the likes of Diogo Jota, Harvey Elliott and Luis Diaz as the Premier League resumed following the recent international break.
Klopp’s side found themselves 2-0 down inside 17 minutes before a Bobby Firmino brace and an Adam Webster own-goal had the Reds on course for a huge three points.
The Seagulls equalised with less than 10 minutes remaining as Leandro Trossard netted his hat trick and £64m Nunez only entered the fray in the 89th minute – something that the former Leeds United forward has commented on.
“It says a lot that Nunez did not come on until the final minute,” Whelan told Football Insider. “If Klopp trusted him and thought he could score the winner, he would have brought him on earlier.
“He obviously thought he had better options, and that’s not a surprise given Jota’s scoring record, really.
“Nunez is still finding his way in English football and that red card and suspension really set him back. It will be in the back of the manager’s mind and it will take some time for him to get the trust of Klopp. He was obviously raging over that.
“Nunez is the record signing and will need time to adapt. But it could be some time before he is a regular starter.”
Our new No. 27 had a decent start to life at the club when he scored twice and registered an assist in his opening two competitive outings.
Since then, however, it’s fair to say that he’s struggled.
It’s imperative that he’s given time, though, as he’s arrived in a new league and is attempting to adjust to a completely different style of play to the one had he had become accustomed to in Lisbon with his former club Benfica.
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Bobby Firmino, who was selected ahead of the Uruguay international, scored twice to justify his selection in the side and was replaced by Diogo Jota with 15 minutes left.
Diaz replaced Fabio Carvalho at half time and we instantly looked a more dangerous outfit in an attacking sense with the Colombian on the left wing.
Klopp only turned to Nunez in the final minute of normal time but it was far too late for us to once again go in front.
The former Almeria man had been away with his country the past week but if he was fit enough for the bench then you have to argue he should be fit enough for more than one minute of action.
He’s certainly not having the easiest start to life on Merseyside but we remain convinced that when he has a constant run of games under his belt we will see him firing on all cylinders.