‘Just have a sense’: Gary Lineker shares what he thinks is about to happen with Darwin Nunez at Liverpool
Wednesday’s win over Chelsea was a big result for Liverpool for a couple of reasons.
Obviously, in very basic terms, it restored the Reds’ five point lead at the top of the Premier League table. It also sent out a strong signal to Chelsea before the Carabao Cup final and also sent excitement over Conor Bradley into overdrive. Overall, a hugely positive night.
But if there was one slight cloud over the result for Liverpool, then it was the lack of a goal for Darwin Nunez. It wasn’t just that Nunez didn’t score, he hit the woodwork four times, including missing a penalty. No player had previously done that in Premier League history.
Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that the Uruguayan actually still played really well. Andy Robertson recognised this and could be seen geeing Nunez up after the striker had assisted Luis Diaz. Darwin is still contributing. He even drew post-game comparisons with compatriot Luis Suarez.
Another who sees the value in this is former England striker Gary Lineker. Speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast today, Lineker said that he still has ‘a sense’ that things are going to click for the 24-year-old at Liverpool.
“One player who fascinates me at Liverpool is Darwin Nunez, as a former striker,” said the pundit. “Yes, he is missing a lot of chances but he gets in positions to miss those chances as much as anyone in the league and I just have a sense that it will come right for him.”
Nunez backed to deliver
You really have to feel for Nunez. More than anything, the former Benfica attacker just seems to be really unlucky in front of goal.
Of course, there’s only so long that you can call profligacy ‘unlucky.’ It’s true that Nunez has missed far too many chances since arriving at Liverpool in 2022. There’s no running away from that.
But it’s also true that he’s been so, so close almost every single time. His technique is good, he does everything right, but as it kept doing on Wednesday, the woodwork gets in the way.
To some, this is becoming a real frustration. As long as Liverpool keep winning though, it isn’t necessarily a problem.
It also isn’t an issue because Nunez is still making sure he has an impact. Having hit the post and bar and everything in between, you could have expected the Uruguay international’s head to go down against Chelsea. It never did, though.
Instead, Nunez kept plugging away and eventually delivered a lovely assist for Diaz. That was the 11th time he’d set up a teammate this season. 11 goals, 11 assists. Brilliant.
If Liverpool do end up achieving their targets and winning trophies this season, then make no mistake, Darwin will have played a huge part in that.
We’ll still be hoping for that clinical streak to be found, but even if it isn’t, don’t expect the Reds’ No.9 to stop trying.