Rio Ferdinand is expecting to see a ‘different’ Darwin Nunez next season.
The Liverpool forward experienced a difficult debut campaign following his move to Merseyside from Benfica last summer despite netting a respectable 15 goals across all competitions.
The 24-year-old joined the Anfield outfit with just two full years worth of footballing experience in Europe and was also tasked with the challenge of learning how to speak English, settle in a new environment and understand what Jurgen Klopp wanted from him.
And with Ferdinand’s former club Manchester United recently agreeing a £72m package deal for Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund the 44-year-old has drawn comparisons to the initial £64m we splashed on our No. 9 last year.
“The first thing you’ve got to look at is there’s huge potential,” said the 44-year-old of Hojlund (as quoted by Liverpool Echo). “Anyone who has seen him play will see there are attributes there that you would like. He’s suited to the Premier League.
“I think the price tag is out of his hands. I look at it a bit like Darwin Nunez from Liverpool. Last season was his adjusting season. He’s a young striker coming to the league and everything about him fits the Premier League perfectly, but it didn’t go as well as he would have liked. But I think, this season, we’ll see a different player for Liverpool.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens with Hojlund, although I’d like him to have a better season than that. He may well do, but it will take time to adjust. The attributes are there, but you’re going to be paying big.”
Nunez got a lot more stick than he deserved.
His stupid head butt on Joachim Andersen on his home debut certainly didn’t do him any favours but he scored some quality goals last season and he constantly wreaked havoc for defenders with his movement and tireless work rate.
He’s netted four goals in our four pre-season games so far and have one more warm-up game remaining when we face Darmstadt at Deepdale on Monday night.
His relationship with the rest of his teammates have improved and he’s also strengthened his English during the summer so let’s hope we can see the Uruguayan firing on all cylinders this term.