Virgil van Dijk’s Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland comment hints Liverpool move was planned
French journalist 'ashamed' of police behaviour to Liverpool fans
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Virgil van Dijk has directly compared Liverpool target Darwin Nunez to Erling Haaland as the Anfield club seek a summer move for the forward. The Dutch captain made the comment in the build up to the Champions League final suggesting a move for the player has been in the pipeline for some time.
The Uruguayan is one of the most sought after players in Europe this season after scoring 34 goals in 41 games for Benfica. The Liga Portugal side have slapped an £85million transfer valuation on the Uruguayan in a bid to put off potential suitors.
Van Dijk came up against Nunez during the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals this season. While Liverpool ran out comfortable winners in a 3-1 victory, the striker was able to leave a lasting impression on Van Dijk when he scored during the second half. He also scored during the return leg at Anfield, a game the Dutchman was rested for.
The centre-back was interviewed by Rio Ferdinand in the build up to the Champions League final against Real Madrid. During the interview Van Dijk was asked about the attackers he found most difficult to play against.
“I played against Sergio Aguero who was obviously unbelievable,” he said. “Lionel Messi is arguably the best player in the history of football, while Kylian Mbappe is incredibly quick.
“However, there is a different type of striker that we now face. They are doing very very well in the name of Erling Haaland and also Darwin Nunez, who is a bit similar. They are very direct, quick, tall, and strong. It’s quite difficult to play against those guys.”
Van Dijk is not alone in his praise for the 11-times capped international. Jurgen Klopp also spoke highly of the player in the aftermath of their victory over Benfica in April.
“He was really good,” The Liverpool boss said. “I knew before, of course, but he played pretty much in front of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konate.
“He was physically strong, quick and calm around his finish. I always say in these situations if he is healthy he has a big career ahead of him.”
Liverpool are on the lookout for attacking reinforcements with uncertainty surrounding much of their forward line. Sadio Mane is set to leave the club in the summer as he seeks a new challenge while Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are entering the final year of their contracts. Even fringe attackers like Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are set to leave Anfield leaving the Reds extremely light on long-term attacking options.
At just 22 years old Nunez could be the long-term option Liverpool need to build their attack around in the future. Their interest therefore comes as no surprise and the club’s supporters will hope they can beat off competition from the likes of Chelsea, PSG and fierce rivals Manchester United to secure the forward’s signature.
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