Concerns About Darwin Nunez? Not For Alan Shearer

Darwin Nunez has been an interesting player to watch for Liverpool this year, with highs and lows on a consistent basis.

Nunez was always going to face a lot of criticism. He joined in a big money move from Benfica, for a cost of £64 million, which may increase to a club-record £85 million if the add-ons come into play. 

That price tag comes with expectations, and any 23-year-old playing for a team the size of Liverpool was certain to somewhat buckle under that sort of pressure.

Apart from the hilarious struggle he is facing in Merseyside of not being able to understand coach Klopp, the most recent criticisms involve a more fundamental characteristic expected of a forward – goals.

The Uruguayan has missed more big chances in this season’s Premier League than anybody else( 15). It doesn’t seem good when you compare it to fellow new arrival Erling Haaland’s goal tally of 27.

It gets worse after taking into account the Norwegian’s lower cost and the vicious shouts from opposing supporters about Nunez being “just a shit Andy Carroll”.

However, Darwin Nunez has the ability to contribute significantly to the squad despite his current difficulties, at least as per football icon-turned-analyst Alan Shearer.

The Geordie legend feels Nunez’s potential as a striker is clear, and that the key difficulty is that the striker needs to learn how to adjust to the Kop’s style of play and expectations. 

In fact, he wrote a whole article in The Athletic to analyse and defend in response to how Nunez is being unfairly blamed for Liverpool’s failures this year.

Shearer claims that, while Darwin has had a significant amount of missed shots on goal, a closer look at these misses reveals a more complicated picture. 

Eight of the 15 big misses were on target, while the other two struck the woodwork. This indicates Nunez is getting into scoring opportunities, and he is also working hard to get his shots on goal.

It also suggests that Nunez is close to scoring goals and also that his mistakes are not due to a lack of talent or effort, but rather partly down to the goalkeeping standards of the league.

He also adds that senior Liverpool personnel quite like Nunez’s movement, quickness, and strength on the pitch. They highlight how Nunez continually comes back for more, implying that he is not throwing in the towel despite his difficulties and is working hard to better his performance. 

This indicates that the squad and coaching staff have recognised Nunez’s work rate and dedication and feel he has the ability to become a key team member going forward.

Shearer then backs up his assertions with this statistic, which reveals that his contribution to Liverpool’s shots and chances creation is not only the most for his side but also the greatest for any player in the league so far.

In essence, Shearer is stating that Nunez has a lot of time to develop into the world-class forward that all of his talents indicate he has the potential to be.

However, it is all about the training field – continuously practising, finding comfort in the hard work, and polishing those talents to the level demanded by Liverpool. If he does not step up his conversion rate, he would inevitably be pushed down the pecking order. 

The point is, he has plenty of time to become the world-class striker that all his attributes suggest he could be and he has plenty of knowledgeable people at Liverpool to help him get there, including the fans who continue to back him.

Alan Shearer on Darwin Nunez

And to be fair, if the highest goal-scorer of the Premier League believes he can do it, who are we to question it?