“It’s just a joke” – Liverpool boss leaps to defence of recent signing after win over Man City

Darwin Nunez
(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp has leapt to the defence of new signing Darwin Nunez following some negative comments over the striker during pre-season following the Community Shield victory against Manchester City.

The 23-year-old made the switch to Anfield from Benfica in a club-record £85million deal on the back of scoring 34 goals in all competitiions for the Portuguese giants last season (Sky Sports).

The Uruguay international failed to score in his first two appearances for the Reds against Manchester United and Crystal Palace, but followed up with four goals against Red Bull Leipzig, only to be brought off at half-time in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to in a 1-0 Red Bull Salzburg.

A compilation video of some of the striker’s early moments in a Liverpool shirt went viral on socail media, attracting plenty of negative comments from rival supporters (Daily Mail).

Nunez brought on just before the hour mark against Pep Guardiola’s side and almost made an instant impact when his effort was saved by Ederson.

The forward played a part in Liverpool’s second when his header truck Dias’ arm inside the box to allow Salah to slot home from the penalty spot and managed to get on the scoresheet himself in injury time when he nodded home to seal a 3-1 victory.

“It was good, it was really good. It is clear it will get better with time,” said Klopp when asked about his recent recruit to the Evening Standard.

“We live in a world where everybody gets judged on first sight and that’s not helpful for anybody but it happens constantly.

“In the first few games (of pre-season) we were not even close to the fitness level of today and then when he came on, we passed each ball for him to chase it and after the third ball he was completely killed and then everybody judged his first touches and these kind of things.

“It’s just a joke but we have to live with that, he will deal with it brilliantly. We are patient and we know he can do good stuff.

He added: “The goal was obviously the icing on the cake, so really pleased for him.

“You could see in his face, you could see in the face of all his team-mates how happy the boys are for him and that’s a really good sign after that short period of time that he is with us.”

The Sports View

Nunez is answering his critics in the best possible way with the forward certainly having enjoyed a better evening than what Erling Haaland experienced in his first competitive start for City.

There’s no doubt that Liverpool’s well-respected recruitment team have done their homework on Nunez and are more than confident that he can be a big hit with the Anfield faithful.