Home News Jurgen Klopp reveals plan to unleash Darwin Nunez’s full potential at Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp reveals plan to unleash Darwin Nunez’s full potential at Liverpool

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Jurgen Klopp reveals plan to unleash Darwin Nunez’s full potential at Liverpool

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Jurgen Klopp says tweaks in Liverpool’s defensive gameplan will help Darwin Nunez evolve as their leading striker.

Uruguay international Nunez has struck seven times in all competitions so far in the 2023/24 season, just under half of the 15 he netted in his debut campaign at Anfield.

Three goals have come in his last three Liverpool games against Toulouse, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth before the Reds eye a thrashing at struggling Luton on Sunday afternoon.

Klopp now believes Nunez is playing with an increased confidence that wasn’t present in 2022/23, which was a difficult campaign for the whole club.

Darwin Nunez

Nunez has scored seven club goals this season / Matt McNulty/GettyImages

He said: “Darwin is a No 9. He can play on the wing as well and it all depends on how we want to work an opponent, pretty much. Where are the spaces where you can unleash his full potential?

“The thing is, last year, especially when things did not go particularly well, it was super important that everything was set up perfectly and we needed a No 9 who defended the centre perfectly in a way Darwin was not able to do then. Now he can.

“Now we are set up slightly differently with a different confidence level, we used the full pre-season to really get used to that. We changed the way we defend slightly anyway, which helps him as well. In that moment when we are defensively stable then of course he has to play from the centre, that is all. In all other situations it is easier to defend the wing, that is what we want to do.

“It is to make sure we are compact but we don’t have to judge all the different options of the opponent where they could go through. The job in the centre is to do that, especially last year and we got used to Bobby [Roberto Firmino] and then Cody Gakpo stepped in really well and then all of a sudden Darwin’s first thing should be to stretch the formation and be there. The team needed stability there [last season] and that was the reason but now we are more stable and there is no doubt.”

Nunez’s chaotic nature in front of goal has led to some derision from Premier League watchers in the past but Klopp is confident his impressive recent form can help him in the long-term.

He added: “It’s probably the life of a striker. 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 where he was and he has scored fantastic goals, different goals, all kinds of goals. He’s in a different moment absolutely.”

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