Darwin Nunez may have been left scratching his head following his return from injury after finding himself back in a Liverpool starting-XI that remarkably seems worse off than the one he took a brief hiatus from after picking up a hamstring issue in January.
The Uruguayan international (on a reported £140,000-a-week, according to Capology) hasn’t found the back of the net since early December, when he grabbed a brace against Southampton, which has led to some concerns being raised by Garth Crooks.
“This was another excellent performance from Neves against a Liverpool side that seemed to be lacking in every department,” the BBC Sport commentator wrote in his latest column.
“What on earth has happened to Joe Gomez, Thiago and Naby Keita? Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson’s recent lack of form is also most worrying, while forwards Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah hardly had a kick.
“I’m beginning to think Nunez is suffering from stage fright. Clubs don’t come much bigger than Liverpool and the pressure can be enormous. Nunez is really struggling in front of goal.”
Whilst we wouldn’t question the fact that the former Benfica man has struggled with finding his clinical edge on a consistent basis at Anfield, it’s hard to be critical of a player whose difficulties, in a similar vein to Mo Salah’s, seem intrinsically linked to what the team is going through as a whole.
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Lack of service has been a clear issue for one, though one might imagine it’s also difficult for Nunez to find his feet when the manager has potentially yet to decide on how to get the best out of a front-three also containing Gakpo and our No.11.
Experimentation led Jurgen Klopp to retain the Dutchman in a Bobby Firmino-esque role with our potential club record-breaking signing fielded on the left in a cameo appearance that lasted less than half an hour.
A return to a central position didn’t seem to yield the desired intention either with all three attackers snatching their chances against Wolves in a tie that might have turned out quite differently had we enjoyed some composure in front of goal and perhaps a rub of the green when it came to officiating calls.
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