'Other strikers should take note of Darwin Nunez' – Former Liverpool striker Dean Saunders on why the Reds marksman deserves big credit

Darwin Nunez celebrates after scoring for Liverpool against West Ham in September 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With Mo Salah likely to be away at AFCON for all of January at the very least, the pressure is really on Liverpool's other forwards to get scoring. 

Uruguay international Darwin Nunez will be feeling the pressure more than most, given he was signed in 2022 to be the club's main number nine. Former Red Dean Saunders, who spent one season at Anfield in 1991-92, knows how that pressure feels. 

"Strikers cost the most money and they usually get paid more than anyone else," Saunders tells FourFourTwo on behalf of Megadice. "Nunez is a case in point – he cost them £80m – and what you expect for that money is goals. 

"Liverpool have the money to go and get someone else if you don't produce the goods. I scored 23 goals in my first season for Liverpool and guess what? They sold me! The pressure is on when you play for Liverpool. Going four games for Liverpool without a goal feels like an eternity when you're the centre-forward. 

Darwin Nunez

(Image credit: Getty)

"He's getting chances but he's missing," adds Saunders. "Some players just have a knack for scoring and some just don't. His job is to turn those misses into goals, and quickly."

Yet Saunders believes the fact Nunez keeps getting games for Liverpool, despite a patchy goal-scoring record which has seen him find the back of the net just five times in 19 Premier League appearances this term, is testament to his all-round game. 

"There will be other strikers out there looking at Nunez thinking, 'How is he staying in the Liverpool team when he isn't scoring?'" Explains Saunders. "I'd tell them to look at his workrate and what else he brings to the team. Jurgen Klopp values that selfless aspect to his game. 

"I remember when I was playing for Derby County, many years ago, I went nine games without scoring and the manager, Archie Knox, came up to me in training and said, 'Well done, Dean'. I was gobsmacked, wondering what the hell he was on about. But he told me I'd done well to keep getting picked despite not scoring. He was impressed with the other aspects of my game. That gave me that bit of confidence to start scoring again. It took the pressure away. Nunez needs to recognise his importance to this Liverpool team and the goals will come."

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