Darwin Nunez is wanted by a host of powerful clubs and is Liverpool’s main target over the summer – but why is the striker wanted?
Uruguay scored 34 times for Benfica last season in all competitions, including goals in both of the club’s quarter-final Champions League quarter-final defeats to Liverpool in April.
No offer has been made by Jurgen Klopp’s team for Nunez, who is valued by the Portuguese club at 100 million euros (.5 85.5 million), while Manchester United is also a fan of the 22-year-old.
Nunez is also one of the many strikers Liverpool will look at this summer, with the future of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in doubt, but the Benfica striker is the Reds’ main target in this transfer window.
A whole Klopp of praise
Jurgen Klopp has been full of praise for Nunez after facing the 22-year-old in two appearances in the Champions League in April. “A handsome boy, right?” And also a good player! joked the Liverpool manager.
“It’s really good, really good. I knew this before, of course, but he played far ahead of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konaten.
“He was physically strong, fast, calm until the end. Okay, really good. I always say that in these situations, if he is in good health, a great career awaits him. »
So what is it?
Nunez led the way in goals and conversion rates for players who made 20 or more hits in the Primeira Liga last season. In the 2020/21 season, the Uruguayan was ranked second in assists, while in 2019/20 he was fourth in goals with Almerian in the Spanish Segunda.
The radar below compares his strengths with other strikers from the top European leagues and reveals the scale of his qualities, ranking in the top five percent for goals, headers, goal strikes, big chances of created, dribble attempts and touches in the opposing area. .
The goals came last season and the numbers are more than impressive: 26 goals in just 1986 minutes equals a ratio of more than one goal per game. He shot 85 shots on goal, which also translates to a conversion rate of 30.6% in the league.
Nunez also offers a lifespan of just 22 years. When counted against all under-22 players in the Primeira Liga and Europe’s top five leagues last season, the Uruguayan lead each player in goals and assists for 90 minutes – surpassing even the new Manchester City striker. Erling Haaland.
To look closely
Nunez also offers a lot of versatility, usually starting on the left wing or at the top for Benfica last season – a position fluency identical to Mane and Luis Diaz at Liverpool.
His unconventional adaptive style would certainly fit Klopp’s philosophy at Liverpool and the visuals below reveal how Nunez also often returns and can combine with players on the pitch while taking on different roles.
Indeed, the Liverpool manager experienced this first hand against Nunez at Anfield. The heat maps below show how Nunez changed roles in the second half, moving from patrolling a center-right area to the left wing.
The touch map below highlights the various attacking attributes based on the color of his season in the Champions League and provides further evidence of his ability to lead his team to the top from his balanced depth and efficiency in the third quarter. the latter, while firing a considerable number of attacks. crosses from wider angles.
In terms of attempts at goal, Nunez is not shy to shoot an attempt from distance, but has an ability to find the target and the back of the net, from the center left – an area that Mane dominates in Liverpool- in aktual. apply.
As the graph above shows, Nunez actually had four secondary assists during his European season last season, but the visualization to the right below shows assists that lead directly to a shot and suggests he usually cancels out short passes inside the opposition area, but also can find the team. -accompanies from outside the area.
Other areas of his game
This effort is best visualized with the crossing map below, revealing a series of long, ambitious passes that often go wrong but sometimes break the defensive lines. The high frequency of long passes contributes to below-average accuracy, but its successful distribution and accumulation in central areas would give Klopp another dynamic against low-block opponents.
Diaz arrived in Liverpool from Portugal’s best league with a reputation for forward pressure and was ranked 27th in the division for possession of the ball won in the last third when he left the club in January.
Nunez is almost half as effective as the Colombian striker on the pitch, possibly highlighting a potential improvement area if he signs for Liverpool – given the high pressure and intense Klopp style of play.
The creation of Darwin Nunez
Meet Darwin Nunez, the Uruguayan striker ready to leave Benfica – and his former coaches are backing him to play in the Premier League.
Sky Sports screenwriter Adam Bate contacts those who have followed his journey from the beginning to learn more.
What positions is Liverpool aiming for this summer?
Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor:
Liverpool will seek to strengthen their line ahead of this season. The fact that they even talked to Kylian Mbappe shows how determined they are to add quality up.
It makes sense with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino entering the final year of their contracts, while the possible departure of Sadio Mane, who also has one year out of his contract, and Divock Origi who has already decided to leave, i prioritizes reinforcements in this area. . If Mane leaves, Liverpool will seek to do business for just over the 30 million euros that have been quoted and they will want a replacement to be selected before allowing him to leave.
With Fabio Carvalho set to officially start his career at Liverpool on July 1, any further midfield changes could depend on the future of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade Chamberlain has made 29 appearances in a season with 63 games and has not played since the FA Cup victory against Forest in March, while Minamino has made just 24 appearances and both may require more regular opportunities in the first team. Oxlade Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract.
Strengthening the back line does not seem to be a priority, with Ibrahima Konate giving Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk another option, while Joe Gomez is able to cover on the right wing and center-back.
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