Liverpool may have their own Lewandowski in Nunez with Klopp ‘afraid of’ star
Jurgen Klopp turned Robert Lewandowski into a goalscoring machine during their time together at Borussia Dortmund. He could be about to do the same with Darwin Nunez, with the Liverpool boss “afraid” of how good the Uruguayan could become.
Lewandowski enjoyed four years under Klopp at Dortmund between 2010 and 2014. The Pole scored just nine goals in 43 appearances in his first season in German football.
But he hit 94 in the next three campaigns to earn a move to Bayern Munich and become one of Europe’s most prolific No 9s in recent history. And Klopp will be hoping Nunez follows in a similar path to Lewandowski
He scored 15 goals in his debut campaign at Anfield following his potential club-record move from Benfica in the summer of 2022. Nunez was in and out of the side and often had to settle for a spot on the wing.
But he has been utilised as a central striker when he has played this season and already has seven goals to his name in 14 appearances. Klopp says it was a difficult start in England for Nunez but can already see huge signs of improvement this term.
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Klopp said: “The first year was hard for him, and then hard for me as well because you see this incredible talent, massive potential, but it’s difficult to unfold it. I’m obviously a manager who can help a player but I need contact for that.
“In an ideal world, you can speed up the process by talking a lot with the player. I was not able to do that because I don’t speak Spanish, but his English is now much better and my Spanish still isn’t.
“[He’s] settled in the team, when you see him around the building here, everything is different. He’s in a very good moment and it’s still only the start for him.
“He’s in a good moment and long may it continue, hopefully it will continue like that forever. I’m a bit afraid of the highs he could reach because there is so much there, it’s crazy.
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“Now we’ve found the real starting moment and let’s work from here. He can play the wing as well and it all depends on how we want to work an opponent – where the space is, where you can unleash his full potential.”
Nunez has had his fair share of glaring misses though, including in last week’s Europa League win over Toulouse. “It’s the riddle of the life of a striker,” Klopp added.
“You have a few goals already and it makes it easier. He always will miss chances but if you miss the first five before you score it doesn’t feel great.
“Now he has had a good start to the season and he has scored fantastic goals, different goals, all kinds of goals. He’s in a different moment.”
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