Darwin Nunez to Liverpool is a done deal, according to multiple reports. And the Uruguayan is set to become a Red in the coming days, following an official announcement soon.
At just 22 years of age, Nunez has made his name throughout Europe in no time! Yes, it is true that the valuation Benfica are putting on him is on a higher-end, but there are a lot of factors involved that have caused this hike. Various reports suggest that Benfica initially wanted a mammoth €130m to sell their young forward.
The Portuguese club would not have accepted anything below that set price, due to the fact that Nunez has a contract that runs up till June 2025 with a release clause of €150m. The Uruguayan’s recent performances also increased his value in the transfer market. A whopping 38 goals’ contribution, this season- 34 goals and 4 assists- in just 41 games across all the competitions for Benfica has seen Nunez go from, being an average striker to being in the category of young, world-class strikers.
Furthermore, now that the transfer window has officially opened, Liverpool can make an official announcement after getting the hands-on Nunez within 3-4 days time. Not to mention, there were some of the big European clubs getting into the bidding war to sign the young striker. Manchester United were in the driving seat to sign the 22-year-old Uruguayan, but in the past few days the Reds moved quickly, they made some advanced contacts with the club and as well as the player’s representatives. And now they have got their hottest summer signing!
Not just that, it is also being reported that Darwin Nunez’s desire to want the move to the Merseyside sealed and tucked in, has also helped in this.
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In all, it is being reported that Liverpool put forth a deal worth €80m with additional bonuses of around €20m. The young Uruguayan will be seen on the English soil next season- and he will be the most expensive player for the Reds, ever.
So, Why is there such hype around Darwin Nunez?
This is a question that many fans and pundits alike have been asking quite often, that- What is all this Nunez hype and the price tag to go by?! Well, we will try to answer all that in this segment, and we will also try to decipher his playing style.
Firstly, to go by, the young Striker is more than just your average no.9. What Nunez brings to the side, is more than just goals and assists- he could be seen as someone who can hold the game by its collar, and shake it off in his side’s favour. The main thing to look at here is the fact that Darwin Nunez is an out-n-out #9. What it means is that he will play that Centre Forward role and take the game from the deep ends of his own half to the opposition’s half in no time!
And I can see why people are arguing the links to Liverpool, because Liverpool have had the preferable associative link-up players like Firmino, Jota, and Mane. But, Nunez is no less… In fact, Uruguayan International has this as an added attribute to his other attributes like agility, physicality, pace and the positional sense of a good #9. The thing, in particular to Nunez, is that he does not look for those long ‘key’ passes to get out of his own half and why should he?! He is a striker, for all that matters. Rather, he looks for those short passes in a quick ‘one-two’ and then just gets out of those defensive areas, to make an attacking transition.
Another thing that is worth noticing is that whenever Nunez in-and-around the opposition’s box his close control becomes absolutely incredible more often than not. There have been instances where his first touch has not been up to the mark, but then again he is just 22 and he has a long way to go before people can start thrashing him for one or two poor games. But, coming back to the point, he has that striker’s instinct to know exactly what to do in the final third.
Likewise, in the Champions League game against Liverpool. Benfica travelled to Anfield to play out the 2nd Leg of the quarter-finals, and Nunez nearly turned the game on his own head- if not for the last-gasp save from Alisson! If not for the save, and another ruled-out goal for offside, Nunez could have had a hattrick for himself at Anfield. And yet, the goal that he scored was not an easy finish by any means.
If we look at the goal again, we will be able to see that Nunez was making a darting run from way back and as the ball landed in his path, he had but one shot to make the most out of it as Alisson was way off his line.
22-year-old, Darwin Nunez’s performance at Anfield in the Champions League 🔥 pic.twitter.com/mrpI545thZ
— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) June 8, 2022
The Uruguayan did not need a second invitation, as he twisted his body at the last moment to finesse it around the scrambling Alisson, into the far corner! The Kopites were stunned, Jurgen Klopp could not hide but to show his expression of awe, and the Liverpool players stood in disbelief. So, just think about it- if this is an aura that a 22-year-old can bring to a side, then why wouldn’t you want to sign him? Apart from all the physical attributes, he brings in a strong mentality aspect as well.
Throughout the 90 mins of a game, you are surely going to see Nunez on his heels, taunting the fans to cheer and bring more energy. This is a mentality of a high-quality player, and he is a Mentality monster and that is why the big European clubs are after his signing!
Can Nunez be successful in the Premier League?
The Liverpool deal looks done, so we might as well look at how well can he fair against the big English defences!
As much as this question makes sense- be it for any player moving from any League outside of the English league- it does, however, look a bit off here when we talk about Nunez. The reason being is that Nunez has outshone the big European defences in his debut Champions League campaign scoring 2 goals against Barcelona, 1 against Ajax, and another 2 goals against Liverpool (over the 2 legs of the quarter-finals). This feat is not easy to achieve, and the fact that he has done it in a single campaign, speaks a lot about the young Uruguayan striker.
Darwin’s ability to bully the defenders gives a reflection of Suarez’s way of playing, and his work ethic reminds people mostly of how Edison Cavani used to play in his early days- and even now so! His recent spoils against Liverpool in the Champions League is the best example of how the 22-year-old striker manoeuvres the defenders in & around the box. It is not easy to keep producing with the same level of energy, and still maintain a good body shape.
The young Uruguayan sensation, Darwin Nunez, will be a revelation in the sides that tend to share the same mindset. And the Kopites now can only hope that a big-money move for the young-athletic striker, will be reciprocated in his performances on the pitch.