Virgil van Dijk has insisted that the Liverpool squad ‘never doubted’ the quality of new striker Darwin Nunez following his arrival from Benfica earlier this summer.
After scoring twice and registering an assist in his first two competitive outings for the Reds, the Uruguay striker then went through somewhat of a rough patch for the club after going six games without a goal.
This drew a lot of unwarranted criticism from many on social media but the £64m forward now has seven goals in his last ten appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“We never doubted his quality but obviously, when you have price tag like that and the goals are not flowing like you want, it’s good (he has shown character) and I think he’s done very well,” the Netherlands skipper told the Independent.
“Obviously he has all the qualities for a modern-day striker.
“There is a reason why we bought him and he’s maturing, he’s stayed patient, kept his head down and played and that’s a credit to him and hopefully he can keeps scoring and stay important for the group.
“Obviously he learns how we want to play, he learns what we expect from him, he plays a little bit on the left but also has a free role coming into the middle.
“It takes time you know. It is a new team, new environment, new country, new language so it is absolutely normal for him to take a little bit more time (to settle in) but there is no doubt the qualities are there and the goals will follow.”
The 23-year-old striker was always going to need time before we could expect to see him firing on all cylinders.
As pointed out by our No. 4, Nunez has had to learn a new language, settle in new surroundings and adjust to a new style of play all whilst having the big price tag lurking over him.
The price tag, which could rise to £85m with a number of different add-ons, was obviously something that he had no control over, but if the Uruguay international can continue what he’s been doing in recent weeks then that fee will soon be forgotten about.
It would be nice to see our No. 27 continue his fine form when he heads to Qatar with his country next week and let’s hope he and the rest of our players in the Middle East return back to Merseyside injury free.