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Klopp backs under-fire Nunez despite goal drought and missed chances

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has firmly backed striker Darwin Nunez despite the Uruguayan’s struggles in front of goal this season. 

The 24-year-old has only netted 11 goals in 34 Premier League appearances this term while missing 27 big chances – only Erling Braut Haaland has missed more.

Nunez’s conversion rate sits at an appalling 10%, with the former Benfica man coming under criticism in recent weeks. He has failed to score in Liverpool’s past seven games in all competitions.

Liverpool’s Premier League title chase collapsed following some disappointing performances on the run-in, and much of the blame landed on the forwards.

Nunez scored but missed a glorious chance in the 2-2 draw with Manchester United. He also missed another opportunity in the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.

He was a culprit in the 2-0 loss to Everton, missing a fine chance to put his team ahead. He was on the bench for the 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur but missed another excellent opening in his 15 minutes on the pitch.

Speculation has swirled that he would leave Liverpool after a disappointing two years in England with Barcelona linked. Removing all Liverpool-related content from his Instagram did not help matters.

However, Klopp dismissed any speculation about Nunez’s future at the club, stating (via Liverpool’s official website): “There’s no speculation [about his future] – I am not involved in that anymore.”

“Darwin was definitely not happy missing that chance [against Tottenham]. He was unlucky in so many situations where he is doing everything right, and then the ball goes still not in.

“It’s really tough for a young man. He knows about expectations. He has big expectations of himself, and that’s tough, and you have to go through this. 

“There is no alternative than going through it – that is what he is doing right now.”

It will be intriguing to see whether Nunez can overcome his slump and silence the doubters

However, with the upcoming summer transfer window offering a chance to refine the attacking options around Nunez, next season could be a turning point for him.

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