The 23-year-old Uruguayan striker came into the league on the back of a very successful season for Portuguese side Benfica in the Primera Liga and the UEFA Champions League. He scored 34 goals in 41 games across all competitions last season and was the subject of transfer interest from all across Europe.
Liverpool beat out competition from Manchester United and other clubs to sign the former UD Almeria striker for a club record £85 million in the summer. The deal, however, has looked like a bust when compared to another free scoring striker, Erling Haaland, who moved to Manchester City in the summer for just £51 million.
Both strikers were expected to duke it out for all the top scorer prizes but while Haaland is flying and well on his way to claiming both the Premier League golden boot and European golden shoe, Nuñez has only been able to score three goals in the Premier League and seven goals in all competitions after 15 games played.
Speaking to the media about Nuñez’s and Liverpool’s struggles in general this season on Friday morning, Klopp expressed confidence in his new striker. “Darwin is a real threat in the finishing situations,” he said on Friday morning.
“He is involved in everything, always an option to pass and cross to. He was involved in both goals on Tuesday, so he’s making big steps.”
Despite his poor start, Nuñez has looked good in the last few weeks. Most of his seven goals have come in that time, and Klopp hopes that he can be more useful in the coming games, starting with their Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Speaking on the game, the German manager said: “It’s a massive game for us. I didn’t count the points difference between us, but we cannot be picky where we get points but it’s difficult. They are well organised in defending. Counter-attack is a massive thing. You saw their offensive power.
“They have scored goals in the last minutes lately, so we are prepared for a confident, strong opponent… What I can say [is] I never once thought before going to Tottenham – ‘now is a good time to face Tottenham’. It will be a tough one, but that’s what we all want. It’s like a Champions League game in the Premier League and that’s how we’ll approach it.”
He also spoke about Liverpool getting their Premier League firm back after back to back losses to Nottingham Forest and Leeds United, teams who are struggling in the league.
“Yes, we have to fight through this, we cannot play through it. You cannot say let’s play through it without defending. Against Leeds, it could not have felt worse, but you get a win and bam.”