'Space for improvement': Klopp says £140k-a-week Liverpool player needs to get better
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told the club’s official website that he feels Darwin Nunez needs to improve defensively.
The Uruguay international has slowly but surely been finding his feet in the Premier League following his summer move from Benfica.
Nunez had a mixed start to life at Anfield, after he followed up his goal and assist against Fulham by being sent off against Crystal Palace.
However, the £140,000-a-week ace scored a goal in each of Liverpool’s last three Champions League games.
He also has two goals and an assist from his last five Premier League games.
This weekend, Liverpool play their last competitive match before top-flight club football grinds to a halt for the World Cup.
Klopp’s Reds host Southampton at Anfield, hoping to make it three consecutive wins in all competitions.
And speaking ahead of the match, the Liverpool boss lauded Nunez, whilst also admitting he has to work on aspects of his game.
‘Space for improvement’
Klopp was asked about the growing understanding and link-up play between the 23-year-old and Andrew Robertson.
“Robbo is obviously used to [it],” replied the Anfield boss.
“He played for a long time with Sadio Mane on that wing and then Luis [Diaz] – cover that space, pretty much.
“It’s different, very different. And now Darwin is different as well.
“In this game he was together with Thiago and Robbo and Darwin.
“Yes, we know that Darwin can be a real threat offensively. He is actually.
“Defensively, for sure, there is space for improvement because it is not natural to him to defend that position.
“Thiago and whoever plays there and Robbo, or Kostas as well, know that.
“That’s why we have to adapt a little bit because we don’t want to talk to him now all the time about defending and then all of a sudden he forgets how to attack.
“So we want to give him the freedom to feel like a striker in the offensive moments, so it worked well but there’s still a lot of space for improvement.”
On the right track
Nunez has been heavily scrutinised at Liverpool following his move.
This is partly due to his price tag and partly due to the arrival of another world-class young striker in the Premier League (Erling Haaland).
However, most players will need a little time to iron out any immediate flaws and acclimatise to the new style of play.
Nunez is certainly on the right track, and under Klopp, he’ll no doubt develop into one of the best forwards in the world.
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