Janusz Michallik has questioned whether Darwin Nunez will ever become the player Liverpool fans are hoping he will.
The Uruguay international was handed another start by Jurgen Klopp last night but despite having a number of chances he lacked the quality required to find the back of the net.
The 24-year-old did set up Mo Salah’s first goal as Liverpool ran out 4-2 winners against Newcastle at Anfield but the former Benfica man was replaced just after the hour mark with his replacement Cody Gakpo finding the back of the net.
Former USA international Michallik has been disappointed by our No. 9’s performances and is now doubting whether the forward will ever come good in a red shirt.
“Very disappointing,” Michallik told ESPN (via The Boot Room). “And of course, the pushback is immediate because how much he does without the ball, which he does. His work-rate has been better. It had to be. Remember he wasn’t starting because of that inability to counter-press immediately, Jurgen Klopp has said that before.
“He’s got so many chances. He wastes so many chances. But then again, you can say well at least he finds himself in those scoring opportunities. Sometimes he creates for others. So that’s all bonuses.”
“For me, the bottom line is he’s insufficient technically. He really is. That’s part of the reason. He’s not clean on the ball. I don’t know how much that’s going to change.
“I do give him the benefit of the doubt because under Jurgen Klopp, many needed time to come good. So I’m still sort of in his corner. But part of me believes that he’s never going to become this consistent, ruthless goalscorer that a team like Liverpool needs. So I’m disappointed.”
Nunez’s movement off the ball and his pace in behind is a constant threat and he’s an absolute nightmare for defenders. He does, however, lack composure in front of goal.
The Uruguayan has eight goals and eight assists across all competitions this term which aren’t exactly terrible numbers – but they could be so much better.
He certainly has the crowd on the edge of their seat but how long do Liverpool fans need to wait until he’s firing on all cylinders?
He’s been at the club 18 months now and although Kopites will constantly support him he needs to start showing why Klopp and Co. were keen to spend big money on him.