Darwin Nunez’s transfer to Liverpool from Benfica has been confirmed, and bet365 have priced up the 22-year-old at 12/1 to score 25 or more goals in his maiden Premier League campaign.
Original article published 13 June 2022
Luis Diaz’s rapid rise to prominence within the Liverpool team saw Sadio Mane shunted into a more central role, and with his future still uncertain, the Reds have moved to sign Nunez.
The signing is one of the most exciting of the transfer window (which hasn’t even opened yet); tall, pacey and strong as an ox, Nunez has all the physical attributes you could want in a striker.
However, it remains to be seen how the Uruguayan will be utilised in Klopp’s side; as we’ve seen over the last few years with Roberto Firmino – and even through Mane in the last few weeks of the season – Klopp’s centre forward will typically stay central, and use his intelligence and awareness to disrupt defenders in the final third as well as creating space for his team-mates.
Firmino was never the most prolific goalscorer, failing to reach double figures in the league across the last three seasons, but his work rate and selflessness made him a crucial part of a Liverpool team which has had so much success over the last few years.
It would be surprising to see Nunez used in an identical role considering his prowess in front of goal, but you can back him to score 15 or fewer at 13/8, with 16-20 priced at 5/4.
Despite being a few days short of his 23rd birthday, Nunez possesses the intelligence to use his body to good effect, potentially making him the ideal target man, although his touch has been called into question on occasion.
Nunez also has a tendency to drift wide, rather than remain central, and it may be that the Uruguayan, who at 6ft2 will be a handful for plenty of Premier League centre backs, is allowed to continue to move into wide areas as an outlet for Virgil van Dijk’s raking passes.
Nunez scored an impressive six goals in his debut Champions League campaign, including two against Liverpool, and the likes of Van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip will surely be delighted to be playing with him rather than against him.
The deal could be worth £85m, which may seem on the high side, but having notched 26 goals in just 28 Primeira Liga appearances last season, Liverpool have one of Europe’s most promising young strikers on their books.
15 or fewer – 13/8
16-20 – 5/4
21-24 – 7/2
25 or more – 12/1