30 minutes of Darwin Nunez and what they taught us about his role at Liverpool

“We had two or three or four years where it was always clear before the pre-season we started up front with Sadio, Bobby and Mo. Now the door is open for pretty much everybody,” said Klopp. “That is what we have to use. We have so many different, interesting options. That is what I like.

“We have Luiz (Diaz) and Fabio (Carvalho) for the left wing as well; Bobby (Firmino) who is 100 percent back when you see training. It is like ‘wow’ he is definitely back. Mo (Salah) will be here a long time and we have Harvey Elliott.

“I say we can improve performance-wise. We can mix it up better. We can be different in moments. We can be more convincing in moments. We can be calmer in moments and more lively in moments. It is about the way we play, we have to do the right stuff again and again and again and that is what I am really looking forward to. We have to use this short period of time now. This first week was really good, it looks like the future is really bright.”

He needs Klopp’s ‘boot camp’

Liverpool’s previous signing from the Portuguese league, Luis Diaz, hit the ground sprinting. Given Nunez was blowing harder after a few minutes action than an incumbent Tory Prime Minister who has just been informed the 1922 Committee has a full mail bag, his fitness levels need work.

That’s hardly surprising given Nunez trained with his team-mates for the first time 72 hours before his debut and, like most of the Liverpool squad, has barely started conditioning for the new season. The bulk of that will be done when Liverpool get to Austria next week.

“Luis just stepped in, I don’t know, Monday and played Saturday and it was oh, all good, all ready,” said Klopp, referencing Diaz’s instant impact last January. “The reason was Luis and the way he played at Porto was the way we wanted him to play here, so it was not that we give him the script book and say have a look at that, we just let him play and then just adjust here and there a little bit. That is pretty much how it is with Darwin.”

Suffice to say, given their margin of victory in Thailand, Manchester United will have to wait to see what they missed when Nunez chose Anfield over Old Trafford.

Nunez had two chances to instantly show it, brilliant chesting down and volleying from a tight angle to force David de Gea to save, and less impressively shooting over in the final seconds of the game.


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