Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf has claimed that it’s far too soon to judge Liverpool duo Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo.
The former joined the club from SL Benfica last summer while the latter was a January arrival from PSV Eindhoven.
Both players have showed glimpses of their promising potential in a red shirt but many feel there is still a lot more to come from the attackers.
“You have to view in a different manner,” Leboeuf said on ESPN FC (via Inside Futbol). “Nunez came at the beginning of the season, nobody saw that coming.
“We thought that the spirit of Liverpool will still exist and the way the players normally played will sustain.
“But it didn’t and it changed dramatically.
“There was no spirit, they didn’t play together, they didn’t defend, no reserves, and you have that young guy coming from Portugal and you expect the best from him, no matter that he can sink with the rest of the ship.
“Gakpo came when Liverpool was going a little bit better and finished quite better than they started.
“And therefore it’s hard to judge.
“And it’s hard for two young players with big expectations you have when you play for such a big club to be judged where the rest of the chip isn’t there.
“We have to judge the players who were already there before judging the players who just came and signed for the club, because if nobody exists how could you want them to be better than the others?
“For me it’s impossible.”
Since his move from Lisbon to Merseyside Nunez has registered 15 goals and four assists (across all competitions) which are by no means dreadful numbers.
His hard work and willingness to run in behind is something that has made him a huge favourite at Anfield and we’re expecting to see him firing on all cylinders next term.
Gakpo, meanwhile, started the campaign brilliant for PSV in the Eredivisie – scoring nine goals and contributing 12 assists in just 14 appearances in the Dutch top flight.
Since his £35m switch to Anfield he has 10 goal contributions in 21 Premier League showings.
Both players are quality in their own right and once they enjoy a full preseason with Jurgen Klopp’s side this summer we believe they’ll show what they’re really made of next season.