Liverpool, and specially Jürgen Klopp, already have the piece they were missing for their project: the desired striker by the German coach has already landed in England. His name is Darwin Núñez and, yes indeed, is an international player for Uruguay.
Maybe this is an insignificant data. Why does his country of origin matter at all? However, in the case of the ‘Reds’, this is a synonym of success. Liverpool have lacked a top ‘9’ in the last decade.
The departure of Luis Suárez changed completely the outlines of the club. It is true that Mané, Salah y Firmino/Jota/Luis Díaz have all together counter his scoring numbers, but the Uruguayan star certainly left a vertiginous legacy.
In this article, I have proposed myself to be as impartial as possible. This way, my entire analysis towards the new star of Anfield is based on both his technical and tactical faculties, his exhibitions until now and the potential he has; no affective connotations at all.
However, after his time at Almería, I visualized and warned about his promising future. And, still having to see how he does at this new and exciting time at Liverpool, I was not wrong. Darwin has blown up any short term prediction and has jumped steps constantly thanks to his growth.
Even Suárez himself warned about it before, when Darwin still belonged to Almería: “I told Barcelona to take care of him (Darwin), as he is very good and interesting. They told me that he was at Almería and that he was too young.
It is really sad that a league like the Spanish one dismisses the talent of a footballer due to the fact that he was playing at a lower level. Later on, once the player matures, we can’t compete with the prices from other competitions and we regret it.
“Instead of having to pay now 80, 90 or 100M, they would have paid 15 or 20 for him in the past”
Luis Suárez, October 2021
At the age of 22 (June 24th 1999, Artigas), Darwin Núñez has become the highest signing of Liverpool in history: 75M + 25M € in bonuses. It is understandable. The player formed at Peñarol has the required faculties to succeed and write his own story at Anfield.
No doubt that there are currently very few players in his position that can come close to him. From the physical perspective, he stands out for his height (1,87m), his strength, speed and agility. All these features are complemented with his characteristics with the ball.
Darwin can result misleading, as, beyond being a classic kind of ‘9’ that sets the central defenders; he is also able to dribble thanks to his talent with the ball. Furthermore, he also joins the counterattacks excellently (he even drives them) and, of course, scores a lot.
But if something defines the Uruguayan, that is the following:
First of all, his intelligence on the field. Despite showing the known temper from the Uruguayans, Darwin has an incredible playing reading. He is constantly moving throughout the 9o minutes, very dynamic.
He can go to the wing, be the reference or the playmaker. He always occupies the right spaces, which allows him to economize his efforts and adapt himself to any situation during the game.
Last but not least, the fact I base myself on saying that he is picking up the baton from Luis Suárez and that will make him to sooner than later conquer the peak of the football elite. His resilience, work ethic and attitude to learn and improve.
Both Darwin has found the right instructor in Klopp and he has found the best student too. The relationship will certainly be productive from both sides.
Be ready in case he needs some months of adaptation when he might go through some irregular times; the youth and inexperience also play a role. However, the attitude of Darwin and the faith of Klopp will fade away any doubt. Because he is the chosen one.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: Twitter @LFC.