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Liverpool dilemma – Play or sell Darwin Nunez?

While Manchester City’s Erling Braut Haaland enjoyed a landmark day on Wednesday, his Liverpool counterpart Darwin Nunez continued his scoring drought. 

Haaland’s strike in a 3-0 demolition of West Ham United helped him break the record for most goals in one Premier League campaign, taking his outrageous tally to 35. 

And while the Norwegian goalscoring machine excelled in his maiden season in English football, Nunez recorded another scoring blank as Liverpool squeezed past Fulham 1-0 at Anfield.

To his credit, the 23-year-old drew a penalty converted by Mohamed Salah to help Jurgen Klopp’s side stitch together five league victories for the first time in 2022/23.

But apart from rare glimpses of his speed and agility and tireless pressing, the Uruguay international failed to fulfil one single purpose that saw the Reds spend £85 million to sign him from Benfica last summer. 

He drew a blank for the fourth top-flight game on the trot, leaving his mediocre goal haul for the season to nine, casting doubt on his capacity to fill Roberto Firmino’s shoes in the long run. 

Let’s not forget Liverpool splashed out £30m more than Man City on acquiring a new centre-forward in 2022, and look how that panned out. 

Is Nunez worth his transfer fee?

Since the goals are the only valid measure of the striker’s value, Nunez’s record of 15 from 41 matches doesn’t fit the £85m bill by any stretch of the imagination. 

Unlike Haaland, the Uruguayan’s finishing touch lacks finesse, as he’s built a reputation as a ‘waster’ rather than a ‘finisher.’ 

Despite his admirable work ethic and commitment to the team, hitting the woodwork and squandering clear-cut chances have highlighted Nunez’s debut Premier League season.

But if you take his sloppy finishing out of the equation, there’s not much to separate the former Benfica marksman from Haaland. 

Not only their body structures but their style of play and hunger for success bear much resemblance, while Nunez is even more versatile than the Man City superstar.

Comfortable playing on the wing as he is at the heart of the attack, the Uruguayan underachiever can play anywhere along the frontline, offering additional value to Klopp’s set-up.

However, it’s up to the German manager to show more faith in his underperforming star, as highlighted by the Daily Mail.

Nunez has made just 18 starts in 34 Premier League fixtures this season, continuously shifting positions and alternating between the starting line-up and the bench. 

At such a young age, playing regularly is vital to any player’s development, and the Liverpool ace is no exception.

With the Reds waving goodbye to their top-four hopes long ago, maybe it’s time for Klopp to give Nunez more on-field time to showcase his potential.

Only then will the discussions on whether he’s worth all that money can gain the whole perspective. 

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