Premier League • England

Darwin Nunez given rude awakening by Liverpool icon – ‘these things will happen in every game’

Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez

Darwin Nunez revealed he was given a sound piece of advice by Liverpool icon Luis Suarez, with the fellow Uruguayan warning him about how Premier League defences will “come and find” him.

Darwin Nunez became the third Uruguayan to play for Liverpool upon making his debut in the Community Shield in July. The ex-Benfica marksman, who signed for a fee that could reach £85m, scored against bitter rivals Man City to help fire Liverpool to the season’s first piece of silverware.

Sebastian Coates and Luis Suarez are the other two Uruguayans to represent the Reds, and the latter in particular made a huge impact during his brief time on Merseyside.

Suarez was a one-man wrecking ball at times and was the catalyst behind their near-miss in the 2013-14 campaign.

His time in England was frequently mired in controversy, and biting Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

He moved to Barcelona soon after, with his departure prompting a decline that ultimately saw Brendan Rodgers ousted and Jurgen Klopp hired.

Nunez will hope to replicate the positive aspects of Suarez’s time with Liverpool and despite fierce criticism, has made a fine start in statistical terms.

Indeed, the 23-year-old has six goals from his first 13 appearances. Making that stat even more impressive is the fact those 13 outings have constituted just 636 minutes – a ratio of a goal every 106 minutes.

Darwin Nunez courts early controversy

Nunez has already had his own early flashpoint – a red card against Crystal Palace after clashing heads with Joachim Andersen.

The Eagles centre-half targeted Nunez throughout the contest, persistently nudging, bumping and generally winding up Nunez.

Unfortunately for the Reds, Nunez reacted and the end result was a dismissal that reduced his side to 10 men. Liverpool would go on to drop points upon drawing 1-1.

Now, speaking to ESPN, Nunez has revealed a piece of advice he’s been given by Suarez.

Always a good sign, Nunez was receptive to hearing from those who have been there and done it in the past.

Furthermore, he revealed Suarez stressed Nunez continue to be targeted by Premier League defenders in “every game”. In Suarez’s mind, the best counter is to get physically stronger to ensure the nudges and bumps bounce right off.

Liverpool striker offered wise counsel

“It was a good thing because not many would bother themselves to pick up the phone and send you a message,” said Nunez. “I think his gesture was really important for me.

“Luis is a reference point, an idol everywhere in the world. I’m getting started, I’m young, and he knows about all those things because he already played in the Premier League with Liverpool.

“Luis told me that these things will happen in every game in the Premier League, that they’ll come and find me, that they’re going to bump into me, and that I need to make myself strong and not repeat my screw-up.

“He said: ‘Listen to an idiot like me.’ I really appreciate that message and the fondness he has for me.”

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