Seriously?: Stevie Nicol can’t believe what he’s hearing about Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez.
Stevie Nicol has slammed claims that Darwin Nunez is ‘already a bust’ at Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool given how the big-money signing performed in the Premier League last season.
There was a lot of noise around Darwin Nunez’s arrival from Benfica last summer, especially given that Erling Haaland joined Manchester City and there were comparisons being made between the two.
Whilst the former Borussia Dortmund man went on a goal-crazy Treble-winning run with Man City, there were more mixed results for Nunez at Liverpool, but Nicol made it clear that he has ‘never been given a chance’ by critics, as he told ESPN.
Over the course of the campaign, the 24-year-old scored nine goals and supplied three assists from 29 Premier League games, including four goals in eight Champions League games.
It saw those outside of Anfield question his qualities, as well as some Liverpool supporters raise doubts about whether he can cut it in the Premier League.
But Nicol was pretty quick to defend Nunez and how he has been brought in for the ‘future’, he has ‘shown potential’, but critics don’t allow him to develop because they are giving him ‘no chance’.
“You can look at it two ways,” said Nicol. “For £80 million, you want the finished article. But, at the same time, have a look around the Premier League and the money people are spending on players that maybe don’t even have that potential.
“The guy has had one season. Straight away, right off the bat, you just said ‘is he a bust already?’ This guy has never been given a chance by anybody, including you (speaking to the ESPN presenter).
“Hold on a second, let’s get this right. When he was signed, did anybody at Liverpool tell us that ‘this guy is the present? This guy is going to start now’.
On how the transfer fee dictates that: “Are you going to let me finish,” responded a frustrated Nicol. “The transfer fee doesn’t always tell you that. The guy was brought in as the future, yet after four months, everybody was on his back. Four months! And they were told that the guy is the future.
“He has had one season. Could it have been better? Probably. He certainly showed potential. He certainly shows what he is capable of and he has more in his locker. Yet, we haven’t kicked the season off and you are asking me if he is a bust?! I mean, come on?! Seriously, he has no chance! Unless he scores a hat-trick every game, then in your eyes he is a bust already!”
Nunez will come good…
Those first 12 months were very crucial for Nunez because he needed it to get warm, make mistakes, get knocked down, pick himself up, and go through some strong periods, before hitting the dark again.
But now he is going to be a lot more secure, experienced and ready to start the season in a more confident fashion, which should see him thrive ahead of the new campaign.
Plus, with Liverpool’s new midfield taking shape, Nunez is going to be one of many players that will benefit from the new-founded energy that will be behind him.